The rumor persists even after Hyundai's denial.

Industry rumors indicate Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) might have finally found a buyer. Hyundai-Kia executives are allegedly evaluating a takeover in a bid to become the world's largest automaker by sales.

Buying all or part of FCA would give Hyundai-Kia access to more SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks, all of which it sorely needs to remain competitive. Alternatively, FCA could benefit from the hybrid and electric technology found in recent Hyundai-Kia models like the Niro and the Ioniq. Many of the Koreans' smaller cars (like the Rio, pictured above) would overlap with those built by the Italians, however, especially on the European and South Korean markets.

There's no word yet on how much FCA is worth, or which parts of the business would fall under the new South Korean leadership. Hyundai has denied it's getting ready to absorb FCA, but the rumors persist. Analysts believe it would be the right move.

"Hyundai is denying the merger, but the need to acquire a company is higher than ever due to the crisis in the Chinese and U.S. markets," noted analyst Lee Jae-il in an interview with the Korean Herald.

FCA hasn't commented on the report yet. The brand has been surprisingly candid about potential acquisitions in the past, so we'll learn more details soon if the rumors turn out to be accurate.