The landscape of the automotive industry is changing, and before things are done, the changes may be massive. Already Fiat and Chrysler are forging an alliance, and Fiat is also going after part of Opel. Now a source says General Motors wants a piece of any merged Fiat-Opel operation that might result.

That would tie Chrysler and GM together through the intermediaries of Fiat and Opel. But so far Fiat (and soon Chrysler) CEO Sergio Marchionne is only open to a 10% stake in the merged Opel-Fiat company, according to Reuters. GM, on the other hand, wants at least 30%.

As a way of bridging that gap, GM may use its Latin American operations to help sweeten the deal for Fiat. This further degree of tie-up paints an even broader picture of the increasingly enormous conglomerate Fiat is attempting to form.

With a substantial presence already felt in Europe, partnering with GM and Chrysler could give it even more reach, including new access to North and South America, plus eventually possible access to China and Africa. The upside for Fiat could be enormous - but tying up with such risky ventures in such a big way also entails enormous risk.

What will the next several months bring for the auto industry? And will we recognize it - or will it be a completely different environment, shaped by newly formed player?