Last week, Volkswagen's CEO Matthias Mueller effectively shut down Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's idea of the two automakers merging. However, it seems Mueller has softened, if only just, to the idea. According to Reuters, the CEO said in a press conference he is "not ruling out a conversation." However, he did say that he would like Marchionne to discuss with him directly the possibility rather than to the media.
Though this statement certainly doesn't mean such a merger is happening, it's far more open than when he said outright the company isn't in any talks with anyone at the moment. His new stance also indicates that there may be people (lawyers, accountants, etc.) behind the scenes working out possible ways a merger could work.
And even though this new development makes the prospect of a merger between the two companies a bit less bleak, it's still a long way from the "will they, won't they" relationship between GM and FCA. FCA's pursuit of GM involved emailing CEO Mary Barra and the threats of a hostile takeover, the latter of which resulted in some awkward statements about hugs. Only time will tell if VW becomes open enough for Marchionne to talk about hugs again.