The rivalry between Volkswagen and Fiat could be heating up as Sergio Marchionne wants a closer relationship with Suzuki.

The rivalry between Volkswagen and Fiat could be heating up as Sergio Marchionne wants a closer relationship with Suzuki.

Speaking with Japan's Nikkei, Marchionne said he would do "whatever possible" to strengthen ties with Suzuki. That's a little vague, but the executive hinted an extended partnership could reduce costs for both automakers.

The two companies already have a friendly relationship as the Fiat Sedici is a rebadged Suzuki SX4 and Suzuki buys diesel engines from Fiat. The latter move has soured Suzuki's relationship with Volkswagen, which has a 19.9 percent stake in the automaker.

It remains unclear if Suzuki is interested in expanding ties with Fiat, but Volkswagen would likely object as they have already called the engine deal a "regrettable" violation of their original partnership agreement.

Fiat eyeing a closer relationship with Suzuki - report