Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne has said he's open to extending his company's co-operation with Suzuki - even though their current engine deal has contributed to the Japanese firm's acrimonious falling out with official partner VW.
Suzuki and VW are currently at loggerheads after a formal partnership, which included each company taking a stake in the other, turned sour earlier this year.
Suzuki is reported to allege VW tried to suppress its interests by representing it as a subsidiary of the VW Group, while VW is said to have been angered when Suzuki signed a deal with Fiat for the supply of diesel engines.
The dispute is now with the ICC International Court of Arbitration, although a resolution could take two years according to experts.
Now Marchionne has fanned the dispute by suggesting he'd be interested in a wider partnership with Suzuki if the opportunity arose.
"We're going to continue to work with Suzuki, and move forward with them," said Marchionne. "I have a very good relationship with the Suzuki family. They are a small company but they make money. They are gutsy. I admire that."