Car Industry

Renault wants to merge with Nissan, then pursue FCA, report says

The merger would strengthen the existing Renault-Nissan alliance.

Renault, which introduced the new Clio at this year's Geneva Motor Show, is apparently hungry for mergers.

Renault

Not content with only an alliance, French automaker Renault wants to pursue a full merger with Nissan, the Financial Times reports. After that's completed, Renault then reportedly wants to go on and seek a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The FT says that Renault wants to begin merger talks with Nissan within 12 months' time, and after that the company would start looking to merge with another automaker. FCA is on the list of "the preferred targets" for that merger.

The FT also reported this week that FCA chairman John Elkann has recently discussed merger possibilities with Peugeot, as well as "with Korean and Chinese automakers." Despite that, no deals are apparently imminent. Still, with Renault's pursuit of FCA some way off, it's not impossible that FCA will find a suitor before Renault has finished its merger tie-ups with Nissan.

Renault didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. A Nissan spokesman in the US declined to comment.

Late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne was known to be interested in pursuing mergers in his final years at the company's helm. His replacement, current FCA CEO Mike Manley, also has publicly stated his interest in tie-ups with other automakers. He told Automotive News earlier this month that, "I want to find areas where cooperation -- whether it is partnerships, whether it's joint ventures or whether it is deeper levels of equity cooperation that makes sense for us."

There's some interesting historical context for a Renault and FCA deal. In the 1980s, Renault briefly took a stake in American Motors Corporation, which also then manufactured Jeep, before AMC was sold to Chrysler.