John Elkann, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chairman, has nothing but “huge respect” for Nissan and Mitsubishi, saying that if the merger proposal with Renault goes through, it will prove beneficial for all the involved car makers.
“Our proposed merger with Renault will create the potential to build a global partnership with all three of these great companies during this period of unprecedented transformation in our industry”, Elkann said to Japanese newspaper Nikkei.
“By proposing a business combination with Renault, our spirit is one of finding a common purpose that provides benefits for all our companies, embracing Nissan and Mitsubishi as valued and respected partners”, FCA’s Chairman added.
Fiat Chrysler has officially submitted a 50-50 merger proposal to Renault, following earlier negotiations to identify areas of common interest. The potential tie-up could create an automotive juggernaut that would sell around 8.7 million vehicles annually.
Under the proposed FCA-Renault structure, Nissan would get just one seat on the 11-strong board, changing the dynamic for the Japanese automaker significantly according to some analysts. Nissan has pushed back against Renault’s previous efforts to tighten up their alliance.
However, Nissan is expected to gain voting rights through the potential new FCA-Renault structure but there are doubts in the air about the size of the Japanese company’s role in the new alliance. This is important since Nissan is the only brand of the ones involved with a strong presence in China, the world’s largest market.
Renault currently owns a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan while Nissan holds a 15 percent non-voting stake in Renault, giving the French automaker the upper hand in all negotiations. Nissan holds a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi.