According to the reports, the two companies were in “advanced talks” on a wide-ranging partnership, which could ultimately lead to the FCA Group joining the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

The conversations were first reported by the Financial Times and later by Reuters. The FT reported that Nissan has not been involved in the talks so far.

FCA and Renault already have a partnership for the manufacture of commercial vehicles and have already held discussions on the possibility of sharing platforms. It is understood that these discussions have gone beyond the exchange of technology and have become a more far-reaching partnership.

If the two companies were to participate in a 50% merger, it would be similar to the agreement between Renault and Nissan that led to the creation of the Alliance between the two companies, headed by Carlos Ghosn, who acted as president of both companies.

The future of the Alliance is currently the subject of talks between the two car manufacturers following the arrest of Ghosn in Japan for financial fraud…

Both companies could benefit from a link. FCA is strongest in North America, through its Jeep and Ram brands, where Renault has no presence. On the contrary, FCA is a little behind its rivals with electric car development plans, and could benefit from Renault and Nissans expertise in this field.

FCA also includes the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.

It is understood that the FCA has also had discussions with the PSA Group, comprising Peugeot, DS, Citroën and Vauxhall/Opel, within the framework of a partnership. PSA chief Carlos Tavares is known for his interest in growing his company through acquisitions or partnerships, and has been closely linked to an agreement with Jaguar Land Rover.

FCA chief Mike Manley is also known for his interest in an association, and told journalists at the Geneva Motor Show that he was open to cooperation with other automakers, “whether it be partnerships, joint ventures or deeper levels of cooperation on equity, which makes sense to us and to whoever it is.

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