Mohamed Abd El Ghany | Reuters
Sources say the talks, which have been happening over the last several weeks, have picked up speed in recent days and could lead to an announcement regarding a merger or partnership as soon as tomorrow.
The CEOs of both automakers have made it clear they are open to partnerships with other automakers that would give them the economies of scale to further cut costs both in terms of manufacturing as well as in developing vehicles. The move could be especially beneficial in Europe where auto sales overall are under pressure.
Meanwhile, under former CEO Carlos Ghosn, Renault was increasingly interested in a full merger with Nissan, its partner in an alliance that has delivered mixed results. When the two automakers first formed their alliance in the late 1990s, the combination helped Nissan cut losses and ultimately become a highly profitable automaker. These days there’s growing tension between Nissan and Renault since the arrest and detention of Ghosn late last year. Japanese authorities have charged Ghosn with a number of crimes relating to his tenure as CEO of the Nissan-Renault alliance.
Whether Fiat Chrysler ultimately joins the Nissan-Renault alliance is unclear.
A spokesperson for Fiat Chrysler would not comment when reached by CNBC. Renault could not immediately be reached for comment.