While Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller had dismissed all possibilities of a merger with Fiat Chrysler last week, he has now had a change of tone saying that talks regarding the merger may be carried out. "I am not ruling out a conversation," Mueller told journalists after VW's annual results news conference. VW has been hesitant in initiating mergers lately as last week Mueller had said that the company already had a lot on its plate to begin any new chapters and that it is still recovering from the emissions scandal. Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne on the other hand has been advocating for company mergers so as to share the costs of making cleaner and more technologically advanced vehicles.
Marchionne had said during the recently held Geneva motor show that Volkswagen Group would be hit hard by the merger deal finalised between General Motors and the PSA Group as the two groups combined would now be the second largest car maker in Europe. He went to say that a partnership between FCA and Volkswagen would help VW maintain its position in the market.
It is notable that FCA makes for only about 7 percent of the European market share. The group's operating margin of 2.5 percent is behind most of the rival brands, along with its spending on electric and autonomous cars.
Mueller refused to comment upon if the PSA-Opel deal would make way for consolidation among carmakers in Europe. He added that VW would continue to go ahead with its inclination towards developing electric and automated cars and that he was confident about the future of VW “with or without Marchionne”.