Executives at Fiat Chrysler and Renault-Nissan remain open to the idea that a merger deal could still happen, but they warn that conditions imposed by each side could hurt efforts to restart talks, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Renault executives are optimistic that the outcome of Nissan’s shareholder meeting this week will spur new merger talks with FCA as support for a deal still exists inside the French automaker's headquarters near Paris, the newspaper said, citing people close to Renault.
In addition, Nissan has not closed itself off to the possibility of an eventual deal, but would also like to reshape the alliance to allow for added flexibility and independence for each partner, the WSJ reported.
Renault CEO Thierry Bollore said last week that there was nothing happening between the French automaker and FCA after the collapse of merger talks aimed at creating the world's third-largest automaker.
The merger discussions with FCA ended abruptly after the French government, Renault's most powerful shareholder, sought a delay to gain the explicit assent of Nissan. FCA blamed "political conditions in France'' when it withdrew its proposal, and a signal from the French state that it would give up its sway over Renault would be necessary for a resumption of talks, people with knowledge of the situation have said.
For Renault and the state, repairing the relationship with Nissan will take priority over a FCA deal, officials have said. France in particular views securing the Japanese automaker's explicit backing as crucial for the success of an FCA-Renault combination.
Despite the finger-pointing that followed the failed talks, Renault, FCA and France have left the door open for a possible deal as they brace for the costly changes sweeping the industry, such as developing electric and autonomous vehicles.