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Business deals

Nissan is 'open to dialogue' as FCA floats Renault merger proposal

CEO Saikawa declines to say whether he knew of deal

Nissan Motor President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa

TOKYO -- Nissan Motor President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa said Monday that he is open to discussions aimed at strengthening the Japanese carmaker's alliance with Renault of France, following a Nikkei report that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is set to propose a merger with Renault.

"I'm open to any forward-looking discussions to strengthen the alliance," Saikawa said, while declining to comment on what he said were "assumptions."

He added that the top management of its existing alliance comprising Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors will meet later this week, and that he intends "to exchange opinions openly and have a constructive dialogue."

Asked by reporters whether he was notified of the merger proposal, Saikawa was coy, saying, "I can't tell you, but I will tell you when I can." A merger between FCA and Renault would create a huge global automotive alliance, with sales of 15 million cars a year, including those of Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Renault's top management will travel to Japan to attend a regular meeting of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters on Wednesday.

Industry watchers will be focused on whether Renault will offer details of the merger talks with FCA to its Japanese partners.

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