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Saving Renault, Nissan ties priority: French Minister

IANS  |  Fukuoka (Japan) 

The auto industry needs further consolidation, but SA and Motor Co should strengthen their alliance before being involved in any new merger moves, the French said here on Sunday, according to a report from Newswires supplied to news.

In a tumultuous chapter in the auto industry, a proposal by to merge with collapsed last week because of concerns in the over the impact on Renault's partnership with

Le Maire said that protecting the two-decade old partnership between and was the priority for the French government, Renault's largest shareholder.

"We all know that because of the technological transformations taking place, in particular with electric and connected vehicles, there will be a need for industrial consolidation," Le Maire said at a press conference following a Group of 20 meeting of global financial leaders in on Sunday.

"But this can only be the second step, after the reinforcement of the alliance."

Ties between Nissan and Renault have been under strain since Renault tried to explore a merger with Nissan. Officials at Nissan, a larger company than Renault, are strongly resistant to merger talk. They fear having to answer to the and see their company as more technically advanced.

The currently share technology and vehicle parts as part of a three-way tie-up with Le Maire acknowledged the benefits to Renault from its ties to Nissan, the report added.

"It's allowed us to be one step ahead on the most for the automobile industry in the 21st century. I'm thinking in particular about electric vehicles in which Renault today is one step ahead thanks to the alliance with Nissan," he said.

Concerns about a merger at Nissan contributed to the downfall of former Jean-Dominique Senard, who replaced Ghosn as of Renault, fuelled mistrust at Nissan by keeping the Japanese in the dark about the Fiat Chrysler merger talks before they were publicly disclosed, according to people familiar with the matter.

Renault owns 43.4 per cent of Nissan, while Nissan owns 15 per cent of Renault. Le Maire has raised the prospect of the lowering its 15 per cent stake in Renault as part of a shareholding reorganization, but he said that would only be a possibility in the longer term.

Le Maire heads to on Monday, where he will meet Japanese He said he has no plans to meet with Nissan and it was up to the heads of each company to discuss how to bolster their alliance.

"All options can be envisaged, and it's up to Renault and Nissan to make proposals," he said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 09 2019. 18:52 IST