Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee A. Iacocca confirmed today that the struggling auto maker has talked with three major European companies but added that he didn't expect the discussions to result in a full merger.
Speculation in Europe and the United States suggested that Italy's Fiat Group would buy a stake in Chrysler, the No. 3 U.S. auto maker. While Iacocca said no such equity arrangement is imminent, he added that it is possible in the next decade.
"No, I wouldn't want to predict that today. Maybe in the year 2000," Iacocca said. "Given the way things have evolved in the last 20 years, you might see some giant mergers, but I doubt that. I doubt any full merger talk."
Iacocca said Chrysler has talked with Renault of France, Volvo of Sweden and Fiat, but he refused to give specifics. "Everybody's talking to everybody," he said. "I think over time everybody's going to need some kind of affiliation or a partnership."