Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Monday (January 12) the car industry has made a strong recovery following the severe economic difficulties in 2009 that led the federal government to loan millions of dollars to two of the three major carmakers.

"You've got an industry that is in a relatively decent shape. I mean, all of us are making some money making cars. The question is: are we making enough?" Marchionne told reporters.

Marcionne added: "There has been incredibly rapid progress to come out of the doghouse, and I think we are out of the doghouse. Whether we are absolutely free of flees or not is something that, I think we still have some work, given the amount of restructuring was pretty severe."

Marchionne deflected questions on whether FCA was in merger talks, but said that carmakers' relatively low stock values reflect investor perceptions that car companies are wasting capital producing their own versions of commoditised technologies, such as the hardware for four-cylinder engines.