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Fiat Chrysler blames French government after withdrawing bid to merge with Renault

The merger would have created the world’s third largest car manufacturer.

Image: Gene J. Puskar

ITALIAN-AMERICAN CAR manufacturer Fiat Chrysler has withdrawn a proposal for a merger with Renault, saying it would be unable to reach an agreement with the French government.

A French government official, however, has blamed the collapse of the potential industry-changing merger with Renault because the carmaker pushed too hard and too fast.

As Renault’s biggest single shareholder, the French government had placed conditions on the deal and wanted to continue talks next week.

The board of Renault had been expected to decide to begin merger talks with Fiat Chrysler that could create a new global giant spanning the United States, Europe and Japan and the world’s third largest car manufacturer.

Fiat Chrysler “remains firmly convinced” of the interest of its offer but “political conditions do not currently exist in France to carry out such an arrangement”, the company said in a statement.

The French official, meanwhile, has said France wanted to delay a vote until Tuesday to give more time to discuss it with Renault’s alliance partner Nissan, and said Fiat Chrysler put “massive pressure” to quickly take the offer or leave it. The official was not authorised to be named according to government policy.

With reporting from Associated Press

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