Remember when you could buy a Renault at a dealer down the street? It wasn’t all that long ago that the U.S. market was blessed by a Chrysler-Renault pairing following the former’s purchase of AMC. It was short lived, but these star crossed lovers might be jumping back in to bed again. According to a report by France’s Le Figaro the Renault board will meet to discuss the issue on Monday morning, with a potential announcement coming possibly the same day.
FCA has struggled as of late in Europe, suffering in the wake of a pivot to electric vehicles and increasingly stringent emissions restrictions. Renault, meanwhile, would like to sell automobiles in the U.S. market, still the second largest market for cars in the world. By their powers combined, the two companies sell some 8.7 million vehicles annually worldwide, and they’re worth about $37 billion.
This connection is not planned, for the time being, to include Nissan. The Japanese automaker has been rumored to be interested in joining in the partnership at a later date, however. Things are a little rocky right now between Nissan and Renault, but if things shape up this could be a great opportunity for Nissan.
Being that both Fiat and Renault compete directly for the small and mid-sized market in Europe, the two automakers could partner for shared underpinnings of future models, or sharing manufacturing facilities, as has been suggested by the New York Times.
From the Financial Times:
FCA has already been in discussions with Renault about sharing platforms, the manufacturing base that underpins a car, and is also holding similar talks with Peugeot owner PSA in France. It is understood that talks with Renault have moved beyond simply sharing the technology, and that they advanced faster than those with PSA.
If the FCA-Renault tie-up were to eventually include Renault’s other partners Nissan and Mitsubishi, the multi-national group would jump up to the rank of global #1 automaker. Nissan has a strong place in the Chinese market, which is something both FCA and Renault lack.
And finally, Bloomberg reports that FCA Chair John Elkann and CEO Mike Manley have been to Paris a number of times this year to attend business meetings with potential partners. That could include both members of PSA and Renault, one might imagine.
While details are a bit thin on the ground, if this partnership takes place, it could be huge news for the future of automotive landscape. All I know is that I hope Dodge brings the Megane RS Trophy-R over to the U.S. market as some kind of SRT ACR product. That would rule.