Fiat plans to buy Opel 'for nothing'

Italian auto giant Fiat is planning to ask US rival General Motors if it can buy GM’s troubled German subsidiary Opel for a “symbolic” price, Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Friday.

Fiat made a bid for Opel in 2009 but the plan never materialised and General Motors instead allied itself with France's PSA Peugeout Citroen - a partnership that could be an obstacle for Fiat's proposal, the report said.

Opel plant at Bochum, Germany. Credit: Reuters

Il Sole 24 Ore, which did not cite its sources, said Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne intended to buy Opel “basically for nothing”.


Marchionne has already engineered a merger with Chrysler after the US giant emerged from bankruptcy and he is now also the head of Chrysler.

A partnership between Fiat and Opel, which are both suffering from plunging car sales in Europe, would allow savings in the design and production of small cars -- something that Fiat cannot do with Chrysler, the daily said.

The operation could however lead to major practical problems, such as how to deal with excess capacity in a context of crisis for the industry, it added.