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SOURCE: AutoBlog.com

Further Chrysler/Renault rumors pop up in Paris

Hopes for Renault's possible return to the American market were stymied when it became apparent that General Motors wasn't interested in a far-reaching partnership with the brand and its Nissan ally a few years ago. It seems that the French automaker is still very interested in re-entering the U.S. and would consider other possible partnerships. One particular option that popped up at the Paris Motor Show is a purchase of the Chrysler brand if Cerberus were interested in parting ways with it. Interestingly, Chrysler was the automaker that Renault pawned its last U.S. efforts off on.

It wouldn't be an easy time to enter the U.S. market, as every automaker is currently posting lower-than-hoped-for sales figures, including Chrysler, which reported numbers down by nearly a third. Still, Chrysler has plenty of dealerships in the U.S. and Renault would love to have access to some of them.
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SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

Renault Itching for a Return to the U.S.
October 3, 2008

PARIS -- French car maker Renault SA is still itching for a move into the U.S. automobile market -- the world's biggest, from which it has been absent for more than 20 years -- and might be interested in Chrysler LLC if its owners were to put it up for sale, a senior Renault official said Thursday.

Jacques Verdonck, Renault's vice-president for corporate and strategic planning, told Dow Jones Newswires that one option for the company is to try to establish a presence in the U.S. by itself, although this would be both "risky and costly."

That is because it would involve developing at least three new products specifically designed for the U.S. market, while creating a dealer network, either by forming an alliance with an existing dealership network or creating Renault's own network from scratch.

The other easier and less onerous way would be to link up with one of the large U.S. automotive companies, though this would imply that the partner is in good financial health and is sufficiently robust to carry the deal through, he said.

In 2007, talks between Renault and General Motors Corp. about a possible alliance collapsed after management of the two companies failed to see eye-to-eye on the potential synergies that could be derived from an alliance.

"We had discussions in past with GM that didn't work out even though there were considerable potential synergies," Mr. Verdonck said. "If the opportunity presents itself again, we will seize it. But if it doesn't, I don't believe we can launch an aggressive takeover operation against an American company."

In 1982, Renault took over American Motors Corp. to make the Alliance, a variant of Renault's subcompact Renault 9 car, but the project never made money and Renault backed out and sold off its interest to Chrysler Corp. five years later.

While a straight takeover is only one of several scenarios, he acknowledged that Chrysler "would make a good partner" in the U.S.

Potential synergies are different when you consider Chrysler, GM or Ford Motor Co., he said. Chrysler is more focused on its U.S. operations, while GM and Ford are more global players, he noted.
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While a straight takeover is only one of several scenarios, he acknowledged that Chrysler "would make a good partner" in the U.S.
Interesting. According to Ghosn, this wasn't the story months ago. Maybe they are revisiting this now when the market is in upheaval. Perhaps they think they can get in for cheap. And if some of the Chrysler dealerships are looking to be consolidated, maybe Renault can offer to take some of them over directly and convert them to Renault stores.

It would also be a boon for Chrysler - they could take a number of Renualt/Nissan platforms and possibly adapt them to their own needs. Having those products produced in Chrysler factories means they could easily spin out a number of Renault branded/designed vehicles as well.
 

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Well, Chrysler is worth close to nothing now. Their only valuable products/platforms remaining are perhaps the minivans and the Ram - all the rest is far below par compared to any competition. They also have a very limited offering...

This would be an interesting twist of fate in automotive history - a kind-of return of American Motors (also, do remember Chrysler's LH cars were developed out of a platform inherited from Renault, the Viper still uses some Renault parts), and rebirth of Chrysler Europe (Renault and Nissan have factories in Spain, the UK and of course France), as I believe R-N would help prop sales and perhaps even production of Chrysler vehicles in Europe. Renault even inherited old European Dodge/Barreiros Trucks, which have been by now merged into Renault Trucks (but still they sold Dodges in Europe for some time)

This would also pit Renault against their perennial leader PSA, who reportedly mull reviving their version of Chrysler Europe in the form of Talbot or Simca.





I also think any form of R-N takeover/merger/cooperation/alliance is the best that could happen to Chrysler, assuming:

1. They don't seem able to make it on their own now, they need a partner in almost all areas (manufacturing, powertrain, alternative propulsion, quality, distribution, platforms)

2. Toyota and Honda are obviously not interested, otherwise they would've approached them already.

3. Hyundai doesn't seem interested either, even though they could make a good match.

4. GM or Ford alliance doesn't seem to make sense.

5. VW would have made sense, but it looks like they've already gone a different route and want to take the American market head-on and compete directly with, inter alia, Chrysler.

6. PSA would make a good partner (especially teamed up with Mitsu), but their strategy is more of a "balance of partnerships" approach. Same for Fiat.

7. Daimler just got out of there, and BMW wouldn't probably be any better.

8. Others are too small, or too undesirable (Chinese, Tata)
 

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cerberus wont outright sell chrysler right now, they'd lose money and chrysler will be profitable in a few years. More likely would be renault having chrysler produce a few more models in the us (chrysler is going to make the titan for them in 2010) and some of the chrysler dealers switching over to renault.
 

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A Renault/Nissan/Chrysler alliance makes perfect sense. Cerberus doesn't have to sell Chrysler for a lot of money to make a big profit, they basically were paid by Daimler AG to take them. That means Chrysler is pretty cheap to take over, stability and products right now aren't high on the list of concerns, if you remember, Nissan was nearly dead when they got taken over by Renault. The next step is synergies. Chrysler is a truck icon, but its car and crossover lineup is woeful. Renault and Nissan both have the products and platforms to fill Chrysler's holes. They could revitalize Chrysler almost immediately, while Renault can come in and sell its products through the Chrysler sales channel.
 

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Well, Chrysler is worth close to nothing now. Their only valuable products/platforms remaining are perhaps the minivans and the Ram - all the rest is far below par compared to any competition. They also have a very limited offering...

This would be an interesting twist of fate in automotive history - a kind-of return of American Motors (also, do remember Chrysler's LH cars were developed out of a platform inherited from Renault, the Viper still uses some Renault parts), and rebirth of Chrysler Europe (Renault and Nissan have factories in Spain, the UK and of course France), as I believe R-N would help prop sales and perhaps even production of Chrysler vehicles in Europe. Renault even inherited old European Dodge/Barreiros Trucks, which have been by now merged into Renault Trucks (but still they sold Dodges in Europe for some time)

This would also pit Renault against their perennial leader PSA, who reportedly mull reviving their version of Chrysler Europe in the form of Talbot or Simca.
Good point, also Chrysler could be back as a premium car/executive car while Dodge could be positionned below Renault but the main concern is how it'll fit without stepping too much in Dacia's territory.

Also, the development of the LY cars (LX successors) might be too advanced but Chrysler could use a RWD Nissan platform for the LY successors or another possibility is Nissan using a LY platform for the mid-size/full-size RWD car for some models like some Infinitis, the Japan-only market models like the Cedric and the President.

Also Dodge could be back in the medium-duty trucks with the help of Mack (Mack is part of the Volvo Trucks company which Renault owns a stake of around 25%)
 

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How ironic. A friend of mine works for Nissan and has been told that the (first of month) meeting scheduled for Monday will include other locations (all engineering). He was expecting an acceleration of consolidation to the new TN headquaters, but maybe not!
 

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Dacia should not be a problem, the brand is only present in a few markets, in the rest it is either Renault or Nissan. It would've actually made sense, as Renault seems to be seeking more stylish ways to develop the Dacia concept (see Sandero), and Ryan Nagode's "toy car" concept for Dodge seems to fit the bill. At least, it is much better than Renault's own efforts with the new Thalia...

This could help protect the Nissan and Renault brands and help their efforts to move truly upscale...


Don't try to hide it, Carlos, just buy Dodge!
 

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This development does not surprise me at all. When Chrysler and Nissan announced their pickup and small car "exchange program", I had a feeling that there was more to it than met the eye.

I feel that a strategic Renault-Nissan-Chrysler alliance, with substantial cross-shareholdings, could be the only solution to stabilising and regenerating Chrysler.

This "Grand Franco-American-Japanese Alliance" would create a titanic global player, massively represented on three continents. Anybody know what the turnover of the combined group would be? Or what ranking in vehicle output it would have against, say, GM or Toyota? It would have to be almost in their size league.

Just imagine the platform-sharing opportunities . . . . or the engine and transmission overlaps which could be eliminated. The economies of scale could be immense. R-N-C could be a real profit machine, given time.

I shall follow this with very keen interest.
 

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The only problem I can see with this merger right now is that Chrysler's brands are selling so bad here in the US that even if they did merge it would probably be a few years before they can get much change in the US. Unless they decide to halt production now of some vehicles the credit crunch will see them having a lot of old inventory sitting on lots for some time.

That being said N-R & Ghosn gets the US partner they have been wanting for so long.

Maybe we will see the Titan killed immediately and the Ram being sold on Nissan lots?
 

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Renault-Nissan are already third-largest when you go by production numbers alone, with the addition of Chrysler they would still be the third, but only because Toyota and GM are so freakin' huge.
 

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That is because it would involve developing at least three new products specifically designed for the U.S. market
....what?

I've looked at their line-up and I think most of their cars would work in the American marketplace. They have the mid-size Laguna, the compact Megane, and plenty of small cars that are suddenly in vogue in America.
 

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mr goshen is a great car guy, i think if he just bought chrysler/jeep for renault and had nissan purchase dodge that could work out as He is also ceo of nissan. As we know nissan will use the ram/durango for it titan and armanda replacements. Also Nissan will be making for south america a version of the versa for dodge. Also if Renault only wants jeep and nissan only wants dodge then VW could get Chrysler or even dodge as VW is getting a version of the caravan.
 

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I never understood why if Renault wants to reenter the market they don't get help from...Nissan.

My bet is that there will be a deal that is announced sooner rather than later. Nardelli loves to make partnerships and he'll do whatever it takes to boost Chrysler's bottom line, even if it means Chrysler becomes little more than a manufacturing and rebadging company.
 

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GMCSonoma, I don't think Autoblog implied anything else than what you said. Do remember Renault made Chrysler promise to continue manufacture Renault-based models and buy sufficient amounts of PRV, so they were indeed Renault's last ray of (fading) hope. They've sold the Medallion for Renault for two years after the takeover, and had the favors aligned differently, the cooperation could've continued and even florished (and the Chrysler Sebring would have been the Laguna).

OTOH, I think Renault-Nissan is increasingly out of their collective minds. Only now did I realize they want to enter the US market by developing THREE new models! Isn't it enough that Nissan has an entire lineup of America-only vehicles, and accross the world R-N has an overlapping and confusing lineup in so many segments? I agree it would have made sense to launch e.g. the Laguna (inc. Coupe), Espace and perhaps Megane, Koleos and Vel Satis as stylish "European" products, but they could've done it even using Nissan and/or Infiniti dealership networks.

What would make sense for me is a platform- and powertrain-sharing, as well as perhaps capital stake exchange and shared distribution, to eliminate overlap and exploit strengths (i.e. people will buy a Dodge pickup over a Nissan pickup in the US, no matter how good the latter one is).
 

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i say let renault take over all car companies, the french are the greatest cars on the world. I have only bought renaults, and brought them over from france. I will only by renaults as they are better then everyone else!
 
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