It was only a week ago that Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller rebuffed FCA's CEO Sergio Marchionne'sidea of having talks between Volkswagen and FCA.
“We are not ready for talks about anything. I haven’t seen Marchionne for months,” said Müller.
“We have other problems.”
This week, Müller seems to have changed his tune. Speaking with reporters at the company's annual press conference, he said that he was open to talks with FCA.
"I am not ruling out a conversation," Müller told reporters. “It would be very helpful if Mr. Marchionne were to communicate his considerations to me.”
What changed? There are two possibilities. First is the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group, which makes them the second-largest automaker in Europe. Volkswagen could see this as a threat and might consider teaming up with another automaker as an additional layer of protection. The other comes from the massive costs as a result of the diesel emission mess. Volkswagen has so far agreed to pay $25 billion in fines and buyback programs.