SINDELFINGEN, Germany -- DaimlerChrysler said on Thursday it would not be interested in a partnership with struggling Italian industrial group Fiat as the German carmaker was already present in all market segments.
"We have no interest in Fiat, but that is nothing to do with Fiat -- we have everything we need," DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen Schrempp told reporters at the company's annual press conference.
Driven by an interest in Fiat's expertise in small cars, DaimlerChrysler held talks with the Italian group about a possible partnership several years ago, but they never reached an agreement and Fiat instead struck a deal with General Motors.
Since then, Fiat Auto has slipped into loss amid slumping sales and has had to cut jobs as part of a restructuring plan.
"All I can say on an emotional note is that in the best interests of competition and of history, I wish Fiat all the best," Schrempp added.
Fiat has a put option to sell the remaining 80 percent of its Auto unit to GM from next year.