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Sergio shot down again

by Bill Cawthon on

On Tuesday, at the Geneva Auto Show, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne noted that Volkswagen Group might be knocking at his door, looking to merge in the face of a more competitive PSA (Peugeot/Opel). This morning, VW CEO Matthias Mueller said there is no interest in talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, saying that VW is “not ready for talks about anything” (according to Reuters).

Mueller said he had not seem Marchionne for months, and that Volkswagen has other problems, including its internal reorganization and a refocusing of its future product plans.

FCA could give Volkswagen Group better penetration of North American and Brazil, but the world’s largest carmaker by volume is as well or better positioned just about everywhere else.

Even with the addition of Opel, PSA Group doesn’t present a major challenge to Volkswagen’s domination of the European market; in 2016, Volkswagen Group was 47% ahead of the combined sales of PSA Group and Opel/Vauxhall.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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