By on March 27, 2019

Renault reportedly wants to restart merger talks with Nissan next year and is even considering a follow-up marriage with another automaker — possibly Fiat Chrysler.

While the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s official goals for 2019 are difficult to pin down, a memorandum of understanding was recently established to improve corporate synergy and reassure the public that members can play nice after the drama-filled arrest of Carlos Ghosn. However, it would seem that the long game still includes mergers.

Earlier this month, top executives from Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi appeared together to prove to the world that the alliance is not in jeopardy. It was known that Ghosn had been advocating for a merger against Nissan’s wishes for years, and many, including the defamed former alliance boss, have speculated that the associated pressures aided in the company acting against him in order to see him brought up on charges.

“We were too much focused on convergence. People should have been more focused on project,” Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa following the most-recent alliance gathering. “We want to change the speed of our operations.”

Hoping to gain some distance from the matter’s darker aspects and assuage investor fears, executives formed a new alliance board led by Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard. However, the Financial Times has reported that Senard is still interested in solidifying the relationship by merging with Nissan. Apparently, he wants to reopen merger talks with Nissan as soon as possible so he can follow up with another automotive acquisition.

From the Financial Times:

Separate to their consolidation, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi also intend to announce a new strategic plan as early as the end of this year, which would shelve existing targets to expand combined sales to 14 [million] vehicles by 2022, according to one senior official inside the alliance.

Synergy targets to achieve €10 [billion] in combined savings by 2022 will also be “sidelined” as part of the overhaul, according to people close to the matter.

As part of the review, the two companies are also expected to revamp each of their boards with Nissan adding majority outside directors and Renault reducing the size of its board.

Individuals close to Renault and the French government claim Senard would spearhead the initiative personally. “His first job was to put the house in order,” said one person. “He has done that. Now it’s to stabilize and develop.”

How Nissan will respond is anyone’s guess. Despite the alliance making an effort to give the company more say, Renault still owns 43 percent of Nissan and the French government has a 15 percent stake in Renault (with double the voting rights). Meanwhile, previous attempts by Ghosn to get France to sign off on a prospective merger went rather poorly, according to the outlet.

FCA should be more receptive, as it’s actively looking for a partnership or merger. However, since Fiat Chrysler is second in line, it might take Renault too long to settle things with Nissan — assuming it even can.

[Image: Nissan]

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21 Comments on “Renault Reportedly Interested in FCA; Nissan Merger Still in the Works...”


  • avatar

    This merger could put Nissan solidly among the top three carmakers in the world. GM seems destined to stay in fourth place. I knew when GM trimmed their divisions in the 2008 bailout they would lose marketshare, but I never imagined they would fall behind Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      htatc

      Yes, but GM has said more than once that they are out of the market share game. They are after profit now. Being smaller more nimble and more profitable. That has even been reported here on TTAC.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    sounds like the bestest merger since Studebaker & Packard.

    Chrysler should have FIAT surgically removed and thrown in a dump where FIAT can merge w/ Nissan

    Chrysler should never ever consider a merger w/ anything involving Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      Victor

      You do know Chrysler no longer exists, right? There’s no Chrysler, it is the good old Fiat Auto SpA who owns the whole thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        Yes, it is conveniently forgotten by the Mopar crowd that Chrysler went bankrupt.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Actually, it’s conveniently forgotten that Daimler stripped Chrysler and sold it to Cerberus, who failed in their attempt to run it on the cheap. When Cerberus was unable to take over Chrysler Financial on the cheap, it abandoned Chrysler to the federal government’s bailout proceedings. It never declared bankruptcy, it was taken over and sold to Fiat with a pot of money attached.

          • 0 avatar
            Morea

            “It never declared bankruptcy, it was taken over and sold to Fiat with a pot of money attached.”

            Wikipedia, “Chrysler Chapter 11 reorganization”

            The article definitively states they filed for bankruptcy on April 30, 2009, and bankruptcy proceedings were completed on June 9, 2009.

            Sale to Fiat was part of the court-ordered reorganization.

            In fact, the company went from calling itself ‘Chrysler LLC’ to ‘Chrysler Group LLC’.

            (And, yes Daimler and Cerberus did pillage Chrysler, on that we agree.)

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Sh!t really sticks well together

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Whoever merges with Nissan just better remember to not piss them off, otherwise they will send the Japanese IRS after you and put you into solitary confinement.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The past/current/potential dysfunction makes my family look pretty good by comparison.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    I’m curious to see what becomes of this Alliance, and if it goes well, what they’ll do for an Encore!

  • avatar
    sayahh

    Bring back the Eagle Talon?

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest. You choose.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I’m confused. What would a full merger allow Nissan/Renault to do that can’t currently be done through the alliance?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    @Toolguy
    My thoughts exactly.

    A dysfunctional inbreeding of family members individually gestated by different parents.

    A 60s hippy commune would be better organized.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    The Jeep Corporation, er… FCA is doing quite well, to the satisfaction of the controlling owners, the heirs of the Fiat founder. Sergio Marchionne was charged with getting them out of the auto business, specifically Fiat, via merger with somebody – anybody.

    But he couldn’t find a partner and the expansion of Jeep gave him the funds to pay down the debt the Agnelli heirs were trying to pawn off on a partner. Now FCA is in good shape, except for Fiat Europe, with a money maker in the US and healthy market share in Brazil.

    It’s quite a story: downtrodden automaker saddled with debt trying to find a healthy “host” to pawn off the debt and let the founding family’s heirs walk away. Unable to find a sucker, it finds a US market that turns a niche division into a huge moneymaker, allowing it to pay off the huge debt it couldn’t pawn off and become a stable profitable company, unwilling to merge with another downtrodden automaker trying to gain entry to the US market.

    Somebody should write a book.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      Many forget the Big Orange Gorilla in the room, the Commerce Dept and Canadian regulators would never approve a take over by Renault/Nissan of FCA(I mean Jeep/RAM).


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