FRANKFURT, Germany -- The families controlling German auto giant Volkswagen (IW 1000/7) and the Italian-US rival Fiat Chrysler (IW 1000/30) are sounding out the possibility of a merger, the weekly Manager Magazin reported on Thursday.
"The Volkswagen group is sounding out a takeover or partial takeover of rival Fiat Chrysler," the magazine said in an article to be published in its edition on Friday. "Various talks have already been held between VW's key shareholder Ferdinand Piech, and the Elkann and Agnelli families as main shareholders of Fiat."
The magazine quoted company sources as saying that the Italian maker wanted to focus on its Ferrari sports car brand.
While VW has repeatedly expressed an interest in both the Alfa Romeo and Ferrari brands in the past, the talks were focusing mainly on Chrysler, the report added.
Nevertheless, there were still numerous hurdles to any possible deal, the magazine continued.
These included divergent ideas about the price. And Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne was also looking at other strategic options, the report added.
Both VW and Fiat declined to comment.
VW shares were the biggest losers on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Thurdsay, shedding 2.3%, while Fiat shares were showing a gain of 3.7% in Milan.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014