Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault are hopeful merger talks can resume soon. The optimism stems from the outcome of a Nissan shareholders meeting this week.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Renault partner Nissan has not entirely nixed the idea of a merger between FCA and Renault. Instead, the alliance partner is hoping to reshape the existing alliance between Renault and Mitsubishi to give each partner more flexibility.
Renault CEO Thierry Bollore confirmed last week that there are no formal discussions taking place between it and Fiat Chrysler.
Merger talks between the two automakers ended swiftly after the French state–who owns 15 percent of Renault–sought a delay in merger talks to help shore up Renault’s relationship with Nissan. FCA did not take kindly to the delay, withdrawing their proposed “merger of equals” on the basis of “political issues in France.”
In reality, Renault and the French government were more keen on repairing their relationship with strained alliance partner Nissan than they were eager to merge with FCA. Nissan’s explicit support of the proposed merger is key to seeing a merger come to fruition.
Renault’s support of a new governance plan at Nissan is seen as an olive branch between the two automakers. The new plan, to be passed by the Nissan board, could provide a foundation for Nissan’s support of the merger between FCA and Renault.
Regardless of the drama and politics, all involved parties have left the door open to restart talks if and when the time seems right.