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article imageFiat Chrysler in talks to forge extensive ties with Renault

By Karen Graham     May 26, 2019 in Business
Fiat Chrysler is in advanced discussions to forge extensive ties with France’s Renault as the carmakers seek to join forces to tackle the structural challenges facing the global auto industry, according to people familiar with the matter.
Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is trying to play catchup with the rest of the automotive industry as more and more companies collaborate to advance their technological capabilities in pursuit of electric vehicles, net connectivity and artificial intelligence for vehicles.
A person with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed the advanced discussions, first reported by the Financial Times. The two car companies have declined to comment on the possible partnership.
The unnamed tipster told the Financial Times there have been discussions about sharing vehicle platforms, but the talks have gone far "beyond simply sharing the technology," according to Engadget.
There are also regulatory hurdles to be overcome as many countries - particularly in Europe and China - now enforce stricter pollution standards.
Merger speculations and partnerships
For months, there have been rumors of a possible merger between FCA and PSA Peugeot. And all this is nothing new, especially over the past few years as the EV revolution has taken hold.
Volkswagen and Ford formed a global alliance in January to develop commercial vans and medium-sized trucks. This partnership will also allow for the future development of battery-powered and autonomous vehicles and services, reports the Associated Press.
Keep in mind that Renault is already in a three-way alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, although that partnership is starting to fray at the edges over the arrest of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn on financial misconduct charges in Japan. The alliance makes this threesome the largest maker of passenger cars in the world.
However, should FCA join the three-way alliance, the outcome would mean taking a complicated path that would involve winning over Japan’s Nissan, reports the Financial Times, although the unnamed people say Nissan has not been involved in the discussions at this time.
The partnership could be a boost for Renault, though. While FCA has its headquarters in Europe, however, most of its operations, sales, and profits are in North America. Renault does not operate in this region.
FCA chief executive Mike Manley previously told the FT: “If there’s a partnership, merger, relationship that makes us stronger, then I’m absolutely open to looking at it.”
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