Marchionne denies talks about an alliance between Fiat, PSA and Opel image

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne denied a report that he approached PSA Peugeot-Citroen and General Motors about an alliance between the three carmakers in Europe.

Marchionne told Automotive News Europe that the report was “bizarre.” According to a Bloomberg report, Marchionne proposed combining Fiat’s automotive operations with PSA’s and adding GM’s Opel/Vauxhall unit provided that GM gave him $5 billion to $7 billion to restructure Opel.

But Sergio Marchionne denied that he approached PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and General Motors earlier this month about a pan-European combination that would overtake Volkswagen as the region’s largest automaker. Marchionne said he had talks with GM CEO Dan Akerson and PSA CEO Philippe Varin, but discussions about Opel were different from what appeared in the Bloomberg story.

“Fiat’s condition in Europe has been discussed. I’m sure that there were comments that were made about Opel from time to time and I’ve discussed trading conditions in Europe with Philippe from time to time,” Marchionne was quoted as saying by Automotive News Europe. “What is unusual in my view is that the story will break out about a potential transaction involving us and PSA and Opel. I mean it’s bizarre,” Marchionne added.

According to the Bloomberg report, a Fiat-PSA-Opel combination would create an automotive grouping better able to compete with Volkswagen. Together, Fiat, PSA and Opel account for 25 percent of the region’s auto sales, topping VW’s 24.8 percent share.