Car firms 'will make a good fit'

Italian car giant Fiat has said a tie-up with General Motors subsidiary Opel would be a good fit allowing for "immense" cost savings, according to reports.

The move is part of plans by Fiat to create a global automaking behemoth. The announcement comes after the international car company entered into a deal that could eventually give it a controlling interest in Chrysler LLC, while the latest negotiations would see the firm take control of GM's main European unit, including the Opel, Vauxhall and Saab brands.

Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne told German newspaper the Bild daily he disagreed with those who said Fiat and Opel - which both focus on small cars in Europe - would fit poorly.

"The models fit together very well and complement each other," he said. "But what is more important is that we can build cars on a common platform and so save immense costs."

He cited Fiat's Punto and Opel's Corsa, which share components, as an example of where the two firms are already working together.

"Opel and Fiat build a million cars on the same platform," he said.

Marchionne added that Fiat did not want to close any of the four plants in Germany, but work forces would have to be reduced.

"The plants must become more efficient," Bild cited Marchionne as saying.

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