French transport minister Elisabeth Borne. Picture: REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAU
French transport minister Elisabeth Borne. Picture: REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAU

Paris — Plans to merge carmakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler could re-emerge despite the breakdown of negotiations last week, France's transport minister said on Tuesday, joining a chorus of French officials hoping the deal could be revived.

Asked if talks between the two companies were over, Elisabeth Borne told BFM TV: "I think it is not closed."

Borne's comments follow similar remarks by French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who also said he felt a merger between France's Renault and Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles remained a "good opportunity".

French budget minister Gerald Darmanin said last week as well that he hoped the door had not closed on a deal.

Last week, Fiat pulled out of $35bn merger talks with Renault, with both companies blaming the French government.

France has a 15% stake in Renault and the collapse of the talks deprived the companies of an opportunity to create the world's third-biggest carmaker with €5bn in promised annual synergies.

FCA and Renault are still looking for ways to resuscitate their merger plan and win the approval of Renault's alliance partner Nissan, sources close to the companies have said.

Reuters