Fiat badgeAll parties involved are actively denying a potentially Earth-shattering shakeup in the automotive universe, as a German business publication claimed that Volkswagen and Fiat have been discussing the possibility of a merger.

The magazine, Manager Magazin, claimed that Fiat was looking to ditch its volume automotive business in order to focus even more heavily on Ferrari, according to Automotive News Europe. The report claims that the merger would allow Chrysler to help bolster the Volkswagen brand in the United States.

Not surprisingly, Volkswagen, Fiat and the Agnelli family (which owns a 30-percent stake in FCA) have all denied this report. VW has said it's focusing on efficiency within its own group, and isn't looking at any takeover plans, according to AN. The Agnelli family, meanwhile, has also denied talks, while Fiat officials say are unaware of any talks.

That hasn't stopped some analysts from speculating that a merger between the two companies might not be a horrible idea, although any potential deal likely wouldn't be a full-scale merger, so much as a piecemeal plundering.

"Volkswagen has an urge to become the number one global automaker, and an acquisition of that size would bring them to their target immediately," Juergen Pieper, an analyst with Frankfurt-based Bankhaus Metzler, told AN. Pieper cautioned, however, that due to Fiat's troubles in Europe and the potential for antitrust woes in South America that a full-scale merger would be "rather unrealistic."

As for the Manager Magazin report, Chrysler might not be able to help VW quite as much as the German publication thinks.

VW's issues "are more image and pricing problems and not so much problems of distribution and manufacturing," an unnamed auto analyst told AN. "Buying Chrysler would not really help VW."

Of course, should we hear anything else on this fascinating rumor, we'll be sure to check it out. Stay tuned.


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  • 31 Comments
      • 5 Months Ago
      I hope this isn't true....the last time Chrysler 'merged' with a German company, the outcome pretty much bankrupted them. Chrysler / Jeep is on a good path w/ Fiat right now. Their product keep getting better and better. I've seen a bunch of the 'new' 200's on the roads and they're really sharp looking. And, w/ Chryco delivering the profit $$ goods - Fiat can reinvest in their brands the delivery ever improving products. I can see some VW / Chryco platform / technology sharing - but that's all I would hope for.
        Michael
        • 4 Months Ago
        Chrysler has had no problem with bankrupting itself. The last time they were owned by a German company was because they couldn't manage their finances. Eventually they were spun off and what do you know they were bankrupt again shortly afterwards. Chrysler needs to die. It's only their name recognition that keeps them alive.
      knightrider_6
      • 5 Months Ago
      merging two losers will not make a winning team.
      joshua
      • 4 Months Ago
      I hope Fiat/Chrysler doesn't get involved with VW as all they want to do is rape the company just like Mercedes did and in the end Chrysler went bankrupt! VW just want the world no matter who they ruin in order to get there!
      Jarda
      • 5 Months Ago
      LOL Such merger would not definitely be even presented as a merger. VAG would not allow to have its reputation stained by the word "Fiat". In Europe their reputation is quite sound. Fiat on the other hand is pretty much a synonym for crap here.
        Street King
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Jarda
        And over here VW / Audi is known as crap you DO NOT own past warranty :)
          Jarda
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Street King
          Is there anyone on Autoblog who does not know how US market looks?
          Pj Taintz
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Street King
          in the USA this is pretty much correct. no warrant on a german car? get rid of it because it will cost an arm and a leg to fix (02 sensor 600 bucks for an 02 audi A4 for an example. My grand am? 64.69 plus tax, and i can actually install that myself)
        r_dezi
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Jarda
        Can you imagine Fiat cars looking all the same with boring, black VW like interiors, a burned out headlight just like a VW, and those expensive repair bills like VWs? .. nah forget it.
      carguy1701
      • 5 Months Ago
      Why does this story keep coming up? What does Fiat have that VW could possibly want?
        Terry Parker
        • 5 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        The only thing I can think might be Nissan and Ferrari other than that absolutely and emphatically NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        ffelix422
        • 5 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        VW would love to buy ALFA, switch those cars to VW platforms, and sale them along side more VW's in Italy- i.e. Seat & Skoda, which are VW's with more and even more lipstick on. That's what VW does.
        Georg
        • 5 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        Alfa Romeo .. Ferrari Maserati
        Jarda
        • 5 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        This: http://goo.gl/HeQO22
      razorpit
      • 5 Months Ago
      This sounds like; VW VP #1: "The Americans aren't buy the crap we're forcing on them. They keep demanding products we sell to the rest of the world." VW VP #2: "We needed that major market to help us grow into the world's largest manufacture. People are going to laugh and call us crazy just like they did when we said we were going to be #1. Now what?" VW VP #1: "Maybe we could buy Fiat and no one will notice..." VW VP #2: "Good plan, much easier than giving the U.S. a minivan, updated wagon, pickup, Sirocco, a real Passat, 7-row SUV, the Polo, or an Outback equivalent they've been asking for for years."
        razorpit
        • 5 Months Ago
        @razorpit
        (7 passenger, 3-row SUV!). :-) Also a competitive compact SUV...
        Jarda
        • 5 Months Ago
        @razorpit
        VW's time in US will come. And I'm not saying that because I would love VAG. Only thing that will happen to Fiat OTOH is a banrkuptcy.
          razorpit
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jarda
          It may come, but they are going to lose a lot of long time owners/enthusiasts before it does. VWNA is a rudderless ship at the moment.
      jimathyrawlings
      • 5 Months Ago
      Someone sure likes infuriating two ceo's with one headline! Giving the disdain that Marchionne and Piech have for each other, I'm sure every time this comes up it just ticks them off.
      ffelix422
      • 5 Months Ago
      Watch this space for the memo that says VW now owns Alfa Romeo. It's coming soon. Arrrrgh...
      Jeff
      • 5 Months Ago
      I see merit to these alleged discussions....VW is striving to be a global leader in sales, but in the 2nd largest car market in the world, they are still a bit player with very little market share. A merger of some sorts would benefit VW immensely just to get more sales volume and market share here in the US. How that merger would work will be interesting, but Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge are doing well and VW alerady has some history with Dodge having used the Caravan for it's mildy reskinned Routan. I can see something happening here.
      Richard Martin
      • 5 Months Ago
      VW would buy Fiat for a few, but major strategic reasons that make a lot of sense. Fiat, itself would be relatively worthless to Volkswagen but Chrysler would be a huge bonanza - giving VW strength in the US that it hasn't enjoyed since the days of the Beetle. VW's US expansion plans based on the Passat have failed. In one stroke they would gain one of the major players in the truck business, growing faster than anyone else, Jeep, Dodge, dominant min-van biz - it makes total sense - just to get into the pickup business would take many billions and years and years of work, look at Toyota and Nissan, then there is Jeep with the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Cherokee and what appears to be potential hit, small Jeep - modern factories, fairly strong dealers, loyal truck, minivan and Jeep customers - it's total win for VW - acquiring Chrysler would put VW over the top in it's goal to become number one (I'm not sure it's a worthy goal, but hey, that's their call). The Fiat aspect for VW - spin it off, forget Alfa, just a name now dead in the water, lose Maserati and keep Ferrari. I can't believe this rumor isn't for real and I can't believe the talk is about Fiat, Chrysler is the prize in this game.
      Avinash Machado
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hope it is not true.
      Pj Taintz
      • 5 Months Ago
      no.... just no
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