Amid a flurry of published but vehemently denied reports that Volkswagenwerk AG, the big West German auto maker, will make a bid for Chrysler Corp., directors of the embattled Detroit automaker held their monthly meeting here.
"There was no discussion of the VW rumor of whatever you call it," a spokesman said following the meeting.
The directors - 15 of 16 attended - did not make themselves available to the press. beating a hasty retreat from the 54th floor boardroom in Chrysler's Pan Am Building offices.
Reports of the purported VW takeover at $15 a share came last Friday in an industry trade publication, Automotive News. Chrysler officials, including Chairman John Riccardo and President Lee Iacocca, strongly denied the reports. So did VW.
Both companies suggested that because Chrysler buys some engines fron VW that the trade journal had misunderstood normal business contacts between the two companies.
The trade journal said it did not and stands behind the story.
The journal also reported that VW would present its offer to today's meeting. Apparently the company did not.
"The main subject of the meeting was a marketing presentation" on strategies for selling the 1981 cars, which won't hit dealer showrooms for 15 months.
Despite the denials, many investors apparently believed the story. Chrysler stock took off.
The rumor mills buzzed again when it was reported that Iacocca would head to Europe next week. VW's annual meeting is July 4.
"We don't like to give details of our executive travel for security reasons," a Chrysler spokesman said. But yes, Iacocca is going to Europe, with his family for a vacation, the spokesman said.