Platform and production consolidation would be the biggest benefit of Opel ownership for Fiat.
Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is well aware of his company’s inefficient model platforms and has predicted that there is only enough global demand to sustain six car makers.
Fiat has already been in a partnership with General Motors, which began in 2000 and finished five years later when GM paid $2bn (£1.1bn) to get itself out of an obligation to buy the Italian maker outright.
Fiat has recently been in detailed negotiations to buy Chrysler, which would have given it a proper foothold in the US car showrooms.
Marchionne even acknowledged it was ‘a possibility’ that the popular Fiat 500 would be on sale in the US by 2010. He has also made it clear that Fiat would walk away from any deal if Chrysler failed to gain significant cost concessions from its unions.