Marchionne says Fiat will move on if Opel bid turned down; speculation says PSA deal possible
29 May 2009

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne has said he's prepared to move on if his bid for Opel falls through, and speculation is already linking Fiat with a merger with PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Speaking after learning rival Opel bidder Magna appeared to move ahead of Fiat in the race to buy Opel, Marchionne said: "“If the Opel transaction is not available to Fiat, life will move on. We’ll just be focusing on what we have.”

Click here to read 'Magna agrees Vauxhall/Opel deal

Click here to read about Magna's plans to contract manufacture

Click here for a brief history of Magna

Marchionne admitted to Canadian reporters that he would now focus on completing the purchase of a stake in Chrysler by 1 June.

He also said that Fiat was still “very much interested” in GM's Latin American operations, but warned that his interest in Saab would most likley pass if Fiat can’t buy Opel, because the two GM brands share so many parts.

Marchionne did not comment on reports that he would seek a merger with PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Teaming Fiat up with PSA Peugeot Citroen would create Europe's biggest car maker.

Eric-Alain Michelis, analyst at SG Securities, told the Guardian newspaper that a PSA alliance made sense as Fiat and PSA had commercial ties through a 20-year-old co-operation accord for light vehicles.

In addition, a Fiat merger could broaden Peugeot's market internationally as well as joining forces in the high-end premium market with such brands as Fiat's Alfa Romeo and Lancia.

"It makes sense. Some people are saying (Fiat's effort with) Opel is a type of smokescreen to attract media attention so they can negotiate behind the scenes with Peugeot," Michelis said.

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