November 6, 2007 / 8:19 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Fiat CEO says talking to Daimler about everything

(Adds background and details, paragraphs 2, 4-10)

By Gianni Montani

TURIN, Italy, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Fiat FIA.MI is talking with German automaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE) about everything, not just engines, the Italian car maker’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, said on Tuesday.

Speculation has swirled that Daimler could seek a partner to work on the next generation of Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class compact cars.

“We’re not just talking with Daimler about engines, we’re talking about everything,” Marchionne told reporters on the margins of a conference.

He gave no details about the discussions.

Fiat, Europe’s fifth-biggest car maker, said last month it was in contact with Daimler unit Mercedes-Benz about a possible alliance. Fiat has had similar contacts with other automakers.

Fiat signed a 2.4 billion euro ($3.49 billion) accord with Daimler in June to supply truck engines as part of a wider strategic agreement.

Marchionne also said he expects U.S. markets to recover quickly from the subprime mortgage crisis. The impact should be over by the end of the first quarter of 2008, he said.

Asked about market rumours that he could take over the chairmanship of the supervisory board of Swiss bank UBS UBSN.VX, Marchionne said the post was incompatible with his role running Fiat. He is a UBS board member.

Shares in Fiat closed down 1.2 percent at 21.39 euros as the DJ Stoxx auto index .SXAP ended up 0.19 percent.

“The stock is still being weighed by the data on October new car sales,” a trader said. Fiat’s new car sales in Italy rose 7 percent last month, trailing an overall increase. (Reporting by Gianni Montani and Giancarlo Navach, writing by Ian Simpson; editing by John Wallace)

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