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The Latest: Renault delays decision on Fiat Chrysler merger

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on Fiat Chrysler's proposal to merge with Renault (all times local): 6:50 p.m. Renault is delaying a decision on whether to launch exclusive merger talks with Fiat Chrysler. Renault's board said Tuesday after meeting at its headquarters near Paris that it will meet again Wednesday to "continue to study with interest" Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' merger offer.

The decision comes amid pressure from the French government and unions, and questions about what a merger would mean for Renault's alliance with Japan's Nissan and Mitsubishi. A Renault-Fiat Chrysler merger could reshape the global auto industry as it invests heavily in electric and autonomous cars. The merged company would be the world's No. 3 carmaker, after Volkswagen and Toyota, and produce some 8.7 million vehicles annually.

5:55 p.m.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa is casting doubt on whether his company will be involved if alliance partner Renault and Fiat Chrysler move forward with a merger proposal.

Saikawa says in a statement Tuesday that the plan would "significantly alter" the structure of Nissan's longtime alliance with Renault and would require a review of their relationship. The statement says Nissan will analyze its contractual relationships from the standpoint of protecting the company's interests.

He also says adding Fiat Chrysler to the alliance could create new opportunities for collaboration and synergies.

Renault's board is meeting Tuesday near Paris to discuss the Fiat Chrysler merger proposal and appears ready to approve it. A "yes" by Renault would start exclusive merger negotiations that would take about a year to finish.

9:30 a.m.

French carmaker Renault looks set to give its approval to Fiat Chrysler's merger offer.

The company's board is meeting Tuesday afternoon at its headquarters outside Paris to decide on a deal that could reshape the global auto industry.

Renault is deciding whether to go ahead with merger negotiations to create the world's third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion, and combine forces in the race to make electric and autonomous vehicles.

The French government, which owns 15 percent of Renault, has held talks with the carmakers in recent days, and a government official says the "dynamic is positive." The official said the merger would produce a Netherlands-based holding company with operational headquarters in France.

The deal poses questions about the future of Renault's alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi.

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