Report: Fiat Chrysler Launches Operation Woo France

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Fiat Chrysler’s desire to merge with Renault has the French government, which holds a 15 percent stake in the French automaker, more than a bit worried. The government has already issued a list of guarantees it wishes to see before giving its blessing to the potential tie-up.

Now, a report claims FCA is working hard to win France’s trust, promising board representation and a French headquarters for the proposed entity.

According to sources who spoke with Reuters, FCA is in talks with the French government (and, presumably, Renault), with an improved offer on the table.

Last Monday’s proposal detailed a 50:50 merger that would be carried out under a Dutch holding company. Shareholders in each company “would receive an equivalent equity stake in the combined company,” FCA said, with the new entity employing an 11-member board. Four members would hail from Renault, another four from FCA, and one member would be selected by Renault’s alliance partner, Nissan.

Per Reuters‘ sources, FCA has agreed to France’s request to give the government a seat on the board. Under the plan, France’s stake in the entity would fall to 7.5 percent. As well, the sources claim the automaker is willing to base the company’s HQ in Paris. This is a change from earlier plans, in which FCA hoped to base its center of operations in a “neutral” location like London.

As well, both sides are discussing a special Renault dividend, as well as a lengthened period of protection for French autoworker jobs and assembly sites. FCA initially proposed a two-year guarantee; this has now broadened to four years, sources claim.

Nissan, viewed as the company with the most to lose out of the potential merger, has voiced its cautious approval of the ongoing talks from the sidelines. FCA Chairman John Elkann offered a nod in its direction last week, saying an FCA-Renault merger would include Renault’s alliance partners.

Renault is expected to decide whether to turn down FCA’s proposal or continue forward with merger plans this week.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 03, 2019

    I don't hate the French but I don't want their cars. Bad enough Chrysler was acquired by the Italians but to add insult to injury now the French. I don't know which makes the worst cars reliability wise the Italians or the French. I don't think the Chinese would do any worse, possibly better. Since the last Chrysler product I owned was over 17 years ago I am even less tempted with this news to buy one of their products. I will be more inclined to buy another GM or Ford product if this merger takes place. Probably buy Japanese or South Korean since they are a known quality.

    • Manta9527 Manta9527 on Jun 04, 2019

      With all due respect, Jeff, the Italians are the reason we still have cars like the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT, not to mention the Jeep line and Ram truck line.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 04, 2019

    Yes I understand the merger with Fiat but the Italians are known for unreliable cars. Great driving cars and some very nice looking cars but unreliable. Need I say more than Fix It Again Tony. I question how long the Challenger and the Charger will last under the leadership of Renault. As for Jeep and Ram those are the only brands that make a merger with FCA attractive to Renault. You need to give credit to Sergio for the Challenger and Charger and not so much Fiat. Sergio had some passion for vehicles unlike some of the other CEOs. I doubt Renault management will see Dodge in the same light as Sergio.

  • FreedMike Well, if you want a Swedish cockroach that's easy to work on, here's your ticket. Tad overpriced but it's an asking price, after all. And those old Volvo seats are divine. It'd be worth a look.
  • SCE to AUX "...has arguably advantaged the Asian nation by subsidizing electric vehicles, it has attempted to prioritize more domestic manufacturing by pouring money atop the relevant industries via the so-called Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act"Seems like you're trying to diss the Biden Administration before crediting its protectionism in the IRA.Chinese-made EV batteries aren't part of the subsidy program, so subsidizing EVs hasn't advantaged China. But the general sourcing of Chinese-made components - whether in a subsidized car or not - does help China.This is a general problem in the US economy. Everybody wants to wave the flag, but nobody wants to be the high-cost supplier, and nobody wants to pay more.The same scenario played out 50 years ago, except the competitor was Japan. At the end of the day, protectionism didn't work, and consumers got what they wanted.
  • Bkojote I'm so glad I bought a Kia Telluride instead of a Toyota Tacoma given all these recalls. I wanted an off roady looking vehicle so I could impress the secretary we hired but instead my wife left me when she saw my phone messages and now I'm stuck making the $1200 monthly payment until I can refinance at a lower rate than 28% even though I lost my job last month. I'm hoping the Kia dealers will let me trade to the new one with the bigger infotainment tooFunny enough the secretary's new boyfriend is driving a Tacoma but with the recall maybe I'll have a shot.
  • Buickman Stop the Invasion. Boycott Envision.I am the top Buick salesman in history, bar none.have never sold this Commie Car and will not until they are built
  • SCE to AUX Nice car for a nice price. I'd replace the headlights.