PARIS -- Renault SA Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said he would back a tie up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV should another opportunity arise to get a deal.
If the project with Fiat “were to come back under conditions that are acceptable for all, I would be delighted,” Senard told French senators late Tuesday at a hearing in Paris, adding that there’s nothing currently “on the table.”
"This matter is behind us today," Senard said, echoing similar remarks by Renault's CEO Thierry Bollore earlier in September.
The Fiat merger proposal was called off in June after French government representatives on Renault’s board refused to sign off on the plan because the carmaker had failed to win the backing of its Japanese partners.
In the months since the deal was abandoned, the two groups had looked at ways to potentially revive it, sources have told Reuters, including by reshaping the Renault-Nissan alliance and the shareholding structure.
Renault is seeking to reshape its partnership with Nissan Motor Co. after the arrest of their former leader Carlos Ghosn in Japan. The companies were near an agreement on rebalancing their cross-shareholding structure in August, the Yomiuri newspaper reported last week, without saying where it got the information.
The two-decade partnership has been under strain for years, with Nissan seeking to reduce the French carmaker’s influence. Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault, with no voting rights, while Renault has 43 percent of the Japanese company with votes. The relationship soured after Ghosn was arrested in November on allegations of financial crimes. He has denied all charges.
Earlier this month, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa stepped down following reports on his pay. A replacement is expected to be appointed by the end of October. The company and Ghosn both reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, after the U.S. regulator claimed they failed to disclose more than $140 million in pay to the ex-chairman.
A Renault-FCA tie-up would have helped to give the alliance with Nissan a more global dimension it lacks, Senard said.
He said more consolidation in the auto sector in Europe would be needed to counter competition from China.
Reuters contributed to this report午夜剧院