Italian automaker Fiat SpA will not walk away from its deal to buy bankrupt Chrysler LLC, a spokesman said on Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court order put the deal in doubt.

Both Chrysler and the Obama administration have said a long delay could kill the deal and result in Chrysler's liquidation. Fiat can abandon the deal if it does not close by June 15.

Taking over Chrysler is a big part of Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne's ambitious goal of vaulting Fiat, Europe's number-six automaker by unit sales, into the top ranks of world car makers.

Fiat will not walk away from the deal if it isn't completed by the June 15 deadline, its spokesman said.

Fiat would not comment on the U.S. Supreme Court order until it had more information, he added.

Fiat and other automakers have been battered by an unprecedented sales crisis sparked by the global economic slowdown. Auto manufacturing has a global turnover of about $2.6 trillion euros, more than the GDP of France.

In another sign of flux in the industry, German automaker Porsche said it was in exclusive talks with Qatar investment fund QIA. A source said the talks were over a capital increase for common shares or sale of options on Volkswagen AG shares.


In a ruling on Monday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the bankruptcy judge's orders allowing the Chrysler sale were stayed pending further order by her or by the high court.

It was unclear what the next step would be. Many experts interpreted the action as giving the top court more time to weigh its response to a request by three Indiana pension funds and others for a stay of the deal.

Shares in Fiat, Europe's number-six automaker by sales volume, dropped in early trade by almost 3 percent. They pared losses to be down 0.8 percent at 7.475 euros at 1006 GMT, while the DJ Stoxx auto index was off 0.21 percent.

Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Credit Suisse, said he would be surprised if Ginsburg's order threatened the Chrysler deal.

If it were blocked, Fiat then would have to go back to looking for potential partners in Europe, such as France's PSA Peugeot Citroen SA, he said.

Fiat's bigger problem is lacking scale in Europe, not the potential entry into the U.S. market, he said. The number of (merger) candidates is clearly getting smaller.

Ginsburg's order comes less than two weeks after Fiat lost in a bid to take over Opel, the German unit of bankrupt U.S. automaker General Motors Corp and another key part in Fiat's expansion plans.

Germany picked Canadian car parts maker Magna International Inc to take over Opel, but Marchionne has said Fiat is still interested in the company.


Although Germany has invited rival bidders to improve their offers for Opel, Hesse state Premier Roland Koch said there was no reason to assume that the Magna deal would not go through.

Klaus Franz, the head of Opel's works council, said the company could save about 300 million euros a year through accords with GM and Magna on license fees.

The Financial Times newspaper cited sources on Tuesday to say three groups had entered bids for Saab, GM's Swedish unit.

A preferred bidder would be chosen by the end of this week, it said.

Swedish luxury sportscar maker Koenigsegg and Ira Rennert's Renco Group are among the suitors, along with Merco, a group of investors from the U.S. state of Wyoming, the newspaper said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson, writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Mike Nesbit/Will Waterman)