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Nissan Won't Give Jeep Something It Desperately Wants

Industry News / Comments

Not only Jeep but all of FCA's brands.

Negotiations are taking place this very moment between Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi and FCA regarding the latter's proposed $35 billion merger. If a deal is ultimately made, the new company will immediately become the world's third-largest automaker. There's something in it for all those involved, though not everything is necessarily equal. Reuters has learned that while Nissan, who was previously caught by surprised by the proposed merger, is optimistic about the possibility of generating "synergies" with FCA via its autonomous drive knowledge and electrification technologies, it's not about to give the American-Italian automaker the automatic right to use all of that tech.

After all, Nissan has been developing its emissions-cutting technologies for nearly two decades with billions of dollars of invested; FCA can't just get that for free because of the merger. An anonymous source with knowledge of the ongoing talks confirmed to Reuters this is perhaps Nissan's main sticking point.

Nissan is, however, potentially interested in boosting its stake in Renault, or a merged Renault-FCA, in order to increase its influence within the alliance. Remember, Nissan previously felt the alliance with Renault was unfair in many ways, such as a lack of influence. Renault is currently Nissan's top shareholder with a 43.4 percent shareholding. Nissan, meanwhile, holds a 15 percent non-voting stake in Renault. See why Nissan was unhappy? But now a new opportunity presents itself for Nissan to improve its position; its EV and autonomous tech is the perfect leverage.

"We would go ahead with partnering or cooperating with FCA only if we can guarantee tangible benefits from sharing technologies with FCA and only if we can work out conditions that are satisfactory to us," the highly-placed sourced said. "If Renault wants to pursue this deal, we feel we need to look seriously at supporting them," he said.

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Fortunately, it seems like Nissan wants to cut a deal, as its CEO Hiroto Saikawa saying that "I believe that the potential addition of FCA as a new member of the alliance could expand the playing field for collaboration and create new opportunities for further synergies." Hopefully, we'll know more in the coming days and weeks because, chances are, a deal of some sort will be signed, whether Nissan is a major player in it or not.