Fiat Proposes Merger With Renault to Create New Auto Giant

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Fiat Chrysler said on Monday that it proposed a merger with its French rival Renault, forming a global partnership aimed at improving their chances of surviving the coming perilous and costly shift to electric and self-driving cars.

If the deal is consummated, the new company would displace General Motors as the third-largest car company in the world, behind Volkswagen and Toyota.

The companies confirmed reports over the weekend that they were in talks about cooperating. But a full-blown merger goes well beyond what was expected a few days ago, and illustrates the urgency that automakers feel to find partners.

There is a consensus among industry executives and analysts that carmakers must link up to share the cost of a transition away from internal combustion engines to avoid being run over by fast-moving tech industry challengers like Tesla or Uber.

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