FCA, Renault Partnership Announcement Expected Tomorrow
00:52, May 28, 2019
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It comes after news broke over the weekend that two of the world's leading vehicle companies are in talks on a comprehensive global combination that could address some of the main weaknesses of both.
The Financial Times reported that a number of partnership options between Renault and Fiat Chrysler are being considered, but that the talks have moved beyond sharing technology.
The deal, if approved by their boards, would see both FCA and Groupe Renault shareholders own 50 percent of the company, which would be overseen by a majority independent board of directors. The French government has a 15% stake in Renault.
It is believed officials would want to see certainties around employment and production due to the thousands of French employees now working for Renault. In its announcement, FCA has confirmed the proposal follows prior discussions between the two carmakers on potential areas of collaboration, such as product development, and opportunities in areas like connectivity, electrification and autonomous driving. But he also added that they were prepared to take "bold and creative decisions" to help build a solid and attractive future for the company.
"Renault's top priority is now FCA", said Takada.
"It's an ill thought-out and badly conceived plan", fumed one source close to Nissan, who did not wish to be identified, in response to the Fiat-Chrysler "50/50" merger proposal that would potentially create the world's third-largest carmaker.
In contrast, Renault is an electric-car pioneer with relatively fuel-efficient engine technologies and a strong presence in emerging markets including Russian Federation, but it has no presence in North America.
Any tie-up would likely face political and workforce hurdles, particularly in Italy. It's worth bearing in mind, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance reports combined sales.
Falling sales in the three major regions - China, the US and Europe - have brought fresh urgency to the cause of consolidation championed for years by the late former Fiat chief, Sergio Marchionne, and deposed Renault-Nissan alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn. However, Renault recently said Nissan would have a negative contribution to its first quarter net income of 56 million euros. For its part, FCA can now tap into Renault's extensive electric vehicle expertise. Sales dropped five percent to 24.48 billion euros.
Joining Fiat with the French and Japanese partners would bring the total to more 15 million vehicles a year, with a strong presence in all major markets and premium brands like Jeep, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Infiniti under a common umbrella.
Renault City K-ZE E debuts at Shanghai Auto Show, April 17, 2019.
A tie-up that included Nissan would vault the ensemble to the rank of global No.1 carmaker with 13.8 million annual sales.
Putting a courageous face on it, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told reporters on Monday he was "open to constructive discussions to strengthen the alliance" and the subject will surely be raised in a meeting on Wednesday with Renault boss Jean-Dominique Senard.
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