Fiat Chrysler in talks over ties with Renault: source

FILE PHOTO: A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sign is seen at its U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S. May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is in talks to form ties with Renault SA, a person familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

It was too early to say whether the negotiations would result in a formal union, but they were focused on co-operation between the two companies, the source said.

The Financial Times had reported earlier that Fiat Chrysler was in advanced discussions to forge extensive ties with Renault, as the carmakers were seeking to join forces to tackle structural challenges facing the global auto industry.

An agreement might ultimately lead Fiat Chrysler to join the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in the future, the FT reported, cited sources, some of whom warned that this outcome would mean taking a complicated path that would involve winning over Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd.

The newspaper cited Renault and Fiat Chrysler as declining to comment and said a spokesman for Nissan did not reply to a request for comment.

Renault Chief Executive Jean-Dominique Senard said on Saturday that Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi may discuss a merger later in the future.

The FT had reported in March that Renault intends to restart merger talks with Nissan within 12 months, after which it will set its sights on a bid to buy Fiat Chrysler.

The plans signaled a return to the strategies supported by former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn who held talks about merging Renault with Fiat Chrysler two to three years ago, the FT said in March. The report added that the French government had opposed the move.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari in Milan and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Inti Landauro in Paris; Writing by Frances Kerry; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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