Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne has claimed that rival manufacturer Chrysler has little option but to agree a strategic alliance with the Italian firm.
The Fiat chief executive has arrived in the US to review the potential agreement between Chrysler and his company that he claimed would help the American company to beat the current challenging market conditions.
"We can help them," he told the Detroit Free Press in an interview.
Under the plans currently being considered, Fiat could take a 35 per cent stake in Chrysler, which it would have the option to increase to as much as 55 per cent in the future.
Mr Marchionne said that the global economic conditions had "lost all sense of normalcy", making conditions increasingly difficult for the car industry.
But he remained bullish about the potential not only for Fiat, but also for the future of Chrysler through a tie-up with the Italian motoring giants.
Fiat is already proving a popular choice despite the economic conditions, and the Fiat 500 Award city car recently won City Car of the Year award from BusinessCar magazine, which is hoped will boost sales of used Fiat cars.
Written by Chris Malone