Volkswagen wants to buy Fiat/Chrysler – Italian owners car-sick

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To achieve world domination in a hurry, Volkswagen plans a takeover of Fiat/Chrysler, German magazine Der Spiegel says. According to the report, Fiat’s main shareholders, the Agnelli and Elkann families, are more or less tired of the auto business. They want out, possibly with Ferrari only. Volkswagen chairman and main shareholder Ferdinand Piech already had several discussions with the families, the report says.

A partial takeover of Chrysler by Volkswagen also is possible, says the report. This could help VW to gain significant market share in the U.S., where the company is much less successful than in most other places of the world. The Wolfsburg company especially covets Chrysler’s dealer network, its 4x4s, and pickups.

In the way of the happy marriage: The Italian families want way more money than the Germans/Austrians are willing to pay. Also, Sergio Marchionne doesn’t like the deal at all. Piech and Marchionne are bitter enemies.

A successful Volkswagen/Fiat/Chrysler tie-up would create a 15 million units behemoth, way out of reach of Toyota, GM, or anyone else.

Spokesfolk of VW and Fiat maintain cover. Fiat shares are up 4% in early Thursday trading. VW shares fell more than 1%, the Wall Street Journal says.

Reuters: VW, which had cash reserves of almost 18 billion euros ($24.36 billion) at the end of March, has repeatedly expressed an interest in Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand despite rebuttals from Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.