Volkswagen CEO Leaves Door Open For Merger Talks With Fiat Chrysler

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It’s been a rocky year and a half for Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker. But the company appears to be turning the page, and isn’t eliminating the possibility of doing so in an historic way.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller, who assumed that role shortly after the company’s emissions scandal broke, discussed VW’s handling of “Dieselgate” Tuesday at its annual press conference in Wolfsburg, Germany, reports Automotive News. In addition to saying the automaker is “back on track” and “2016 did not turn out to be the nightmare that many predicted,” Mueller talked about whether VW has any interest in talking to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles about merging.

“There is no contact at this time between me and (FCA CEO Sergio) Marchionne,” Mueller said, via Automotive News.

That’s as direct as you possibly can get. However, when reportedly asked later about the possibly of talks with FCA, Mueller was a little more vague.

“I am not ruling out a conversation,” Mueller said.

Mueller, however, appears to be well aware of Marchionne’s advocacy for mergers within the automotive industry.

“It would be very helpful if Mr. Marchionne were to communicate his considerations to me too and not just to you,” Mueller said to reporters, via Automotive News.

Despite Mueller’s positive spin on VW’s situation, the reality is the German automaker still has a lot of image repairing to do, as it pleaded guilty Friday to three counts stemming from its “dieselgate” scandal.

Thumbnail photo via YouTube/CNBC

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