FUKUOKA / JAPAN: France is ready to consider paring its 15% stake in Renault in the interest of consolidating the automaker’s alliance with Japanese partner Nissan, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Saturday. In an interview with AFP on the sidelines of the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Japan, Le Maire also said Renault and Nissan should work on beefing up ties before exploring further merger possibilities. Le Maire’s comments came only days after Italian-US carmaker Fiat Chrysler (FCA) pulled the plug on a proposed merger with Renault, saying negotiations had become “unreasonable” due to political resistance in Paris. “We can reduce the state’s stake in Renault’s capital. This is not a problem as long as, at the end of the process, we have a more solid auto sector and a more solid alliance between the two great car manufacturers Nissan and Renault,” the minister told AFP. On May 27, FCA stunned the auto world with a proposed “merger of equals” with Renault that would – together with Renault’s Japanese partners Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors – create a car giant spanning the globe.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2019.