DETROIT -- General Motors Co. and Fiat S.p.A. "briefly" discussed a merger of their European operations earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the talks.
The discussions involved the companies' CEOs, GM's Dan Akerson and Fiat's Sergio Marchionne but never reached board level, the paper said.
At the time, GM was also in negotiations with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen that resulted in an alliance. The Journal quoted a person familiar with the talks as saying that Fiat had tried to convince GM it was a better partner than PSA.
GM's tie-up with PSA, which was announced last month, ended any chance of a GM-Fiat deal, the paper said.
On Tuesday Marchionne, who also heads Chrysler Group, said Fiat was open to all potential partnerships, even the newly formed tie-up between GM and PSA.
Fiat and PSA have an existing joint venture to build small commercial vans in Italy.
GM and PSA have agreed a global alliance targeting a cut in annual costs of at least $2 billion without plant closures or job cuts in Europe.
The Journal said the discussions are an indication of growing interest among automakers to address common problems by teaming up. Spokespersons for GM and Fiat declined to comment when contacted by the paper.
Reuters contributed to this story