It has been two months since Fiat Chrysler withdrew its ‘marriage proposal’ from Renault, but now there are indications on both fronts that the talks could be revived.
Fiat Chrysler boss Michael Manley told Daily Mail that he is still open to merger talks with the French carmaker, stating that an alliance still made sense.
While stating that the company still had a “solid future and clear plans” regardless, he also added: “That isn’t to say if there is a better future through an alliance or partnership or merger we wouldn’t be open and interested to it.”
Meanwhile it appears that current alliance partners Renault and Nissan are in talks to iron out the difficulties in their marriage, with a view to possibly reigniting the Fiat Chrysler talks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are discussing the possibility of Renault reducing its 43.3 percent stake in Nissan, which is a big point of consternation for the latter. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has argued consistently that alliance shareholdings need "rebalancing" to reflect Nissan's bigger size. Nissan currently has a mere 15 percent stake in Renault, which carries no voting rights.
However, even if Renault was prepared to reduced its stake, it would first need to obtain the approval of the French government, which owns 15 percent of the French carmaker.
Incidentally, it was the French government that led to the collapse of the original talks by insisting that the companies would first have to win the support of Nissan before it could give any stamp of approval. The ball is in your court, France.