The unusually candid – and icy – response from one chief executive to another comes after Marchionne similarly pursued General Motors (again) this week. The FCA boss suggested GM might be looking for a new European partner as it prepares to unload its troubled Opel and Vauxhall divisions to PSA. A GM spokesman told USA Today that the company is not interested. Marchionne has been openly suggesting a GM merger since at least 2015, despite GM never reciprocating interest.
VW's "other problems," as Mueller notes, include legal proceedings, fines, recalls, and other issues related to its long-running diesel scandal.
Marchionne has long sought industry consolidation, arguing that automakers don't get a proper return on their investments in technologies, some of which are relatively similar. He's suggested sharing chassis and powertrain components could be a benefit to the collective auto sector. Skeptics argue FCA, which is smaller than GM, VW, Toyota, and others, needs a partner to survive, while its rivals already have the necessary scale to remain competitive.