Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is ready to buy General Motors' European subsidiary Opel if GM's alliance with France's Peugeot dissolves.
According to Reuters, quoting an Italian newspaper, said: "Marchionne's plan is to get Opel practically free, not unlike what happened with Chrysler and not unlike its offer for Opel in 2009."
Fiat acquired a stake in Chrysler in 2009 in exchange for its small-vehicle technology and management expertise.
Fiat has declined to comment on the report.
Marchionne has said that the European auto industry needs to consolidate if it is to weather the market's five-year slump. "We have a collective responsibility in the industry to carry out a progressive restructuring at the European level," he said last month.
No offer has been made to GM, the newspaper said, adding that Fiat could make an offer for Opel only if GM and Peugeot were to dissolve their alliance.