Fiat discusses Chrysler partnership

Fiat is in talks with struggling US car maker Chrysler, the Italian firm's vice president and heir to the auto empire has said.

John Elkann, a member of Fiat's founding Agnelli family, has been quoted as saying that "it's no mystery we are talking, we have been talking for a while".

Reports of a possible partnership with Chrysler saw Fiat shares suspended from trading on Tuesday pending a statement.

Newspapers have speculated that the Turin-based automaker could take a stake in Chrysler. Unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal and Automotive News that, under the possible agreement, Chrysler would have access to Fiat's engine and transmission technology.

In a statement on Monday, Chrysler spokeswoman Lori McTavish said: "In today's economic environment, talks are going on between companies in all industries - ours is no different."

In the past, Fiat has expressed interest in introducing its Fiat 500 compact car and the Alfa Romeo brand to the US market.

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