MG brand owner Nanjing Automobile Group is in discussions with Fiat about possibly terminating a passenger car joint venture in China.

"We are in discussion with Fiat," Nanjing Auto's spokesman Liu Ningsheng told Bloomberg News in a mobile phone text message that gave no further details.

The Financial Times earlier had reported that Fiat may end its venture with Nanjing Auto, choosing instead to assemble vehicles with either SAIC Motor Chery Automobile. The paper cited Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionnewho has recently expressed frustration over the JV's lack of progress (see link below).

The equally held Fiat venture with Nanjing Auto, established in 1999, makes Perla and Siena sedans, Palio compact cars and Palio Weekend station wagons.

First-quarter sales fell about 21% to 7,082 units, lagging behind the 22% growth by the entire Chinese passenger car market, Bloomberg News added.

Marchionne pulls no punches on Nanjing