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After dismissing the thought, VW chief executive Matthias Mueller now says he is "not ruling out a conversation."

Volkswagen appears to have warmed to the idea of merger talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Rejecting a recent proposition from FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, the German automaker's chief executive, Matthias Mueller, recently said "we have other problems" and claimed VW is "not ready for talks about anything."

Mueller has since backtracked, telling Reuters "I am not ruling out a conversation," though he is still critical of Marchionne's approach.

"It would be very helpful if Mr Marchionne were to communicate his considerations to me too and not just to you," he said.

Marchionne has attempted to court General Motors for several years without luck. GM's recent divestment of its Opel division, purchased by PSA Group, prompted Marchionne to turn his attention to Germany. He suggests the Opel-PSA entity "threatens VW most" by "creating a number-two on its heels."

Despite Mueller's willingness to engage in talks with Marchionne, he has downplayed the possibility of moving forward with a merger plan.