| 3:41 PM EST

Nissan CEO Sees No Major Problems with Renault-FCA Merger


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CEO Hiroto Saikawa tells reporters that Nissan detects no “particularly negative” aspect of the proposed merger between Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Media reports say Nissan was blindsided by the $35 billion merger bid, which was revealed last weekend. The Japanese company had repeatedly rebuffed Renault entreaties that a Renault-Nissan merger would strengthen their 20-year-old Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

Leaders from those three companies met at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama earlier today to discuss the future of their partnership. The executives describe their talks as “open and transparent.” But the discussions also were inconclusive about the long-term impact of an FCA-Renault merger on the alliance.

Implicit in the merger proposal is that it must take precedent over Renault’s interest in merging with Nissan. Thus, analysts suggest, the deal threatens to further weaken relations between the two companies, which have been strained by Nissan’s successful effort to oust Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of both companies, on charges of financial wrongdoing.

FCA says merging with Renault will enhance the alliance and create annual synergies of more than €5 billion ($5.6 billion) in terms of savings in purchasing, product development and manufacturing costs. Those savings would include €1 billion to Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, even if the alliance makes no further structural changes, according to FCA.

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