TURIN, Italy -- Fiat may form an alliance with General Motors' core operations in Europe and Latin America, a source familiar with the matter told Automotive News on Friday.
The deal would be on top of Fiat's plan to merge with Chrysler LLC and would create the world's second-largest auto group.
The talks with GM are in an early phase, said the source. He said the discussions are not an alternative to Fiat's ongoing negotiations with Chrysler.
Together, Fiat, Chrysler, Opel/Vauxhall and GM Latin America sold 7.05 million vehicles in 2008. That would have made it No. 2 in unit sales after Toyota Motor Corp.
The deal would not include Saab's and Chevrolet's European operations.
General Motors plans to carve out Germany-based Opel and British sister brand Vauxhall into a separate unit. GM CEO Fritz Henderson said today that GM has sent confidentiality agreements to more than six potential investors in Opel/Vauxhall.
“More than six people have expressed interest, serious people,” Henderson told a news conference. “Many of them are financial players, some of them are industrial players. I would expect that work would get done in the next two to three weeks, so that process has kicked off.”
A Fiat spokesman declined to comment on a possible link with Opel/Vauxhall and GM Latin America.