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Road to the Fiat Chrysler, Renault merger talks

1987: Chrysler, under Lee Iacocca, agrees to buy Renault's 46 per cent stake in Jeep parent American Motors Corp (AMC), and later acquires all of AMC and begins expanding the Jeep brand.

1998: German carmaker Daimler AG and Chrysler announce a "merger of equals", which soon becomes a Daimler takeover. The blockbuster deal sours as the US car market slows.

2004: Sergio Marchionne takes over as chief executive of Fiat.

2007: Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, former head of the Chrysler unit, agrees to sell 80 per cent of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management, a US financial investor. The deal goes through even though Cerberus had to postpone the sale of a US$12 billion syndicated loan after investors balked.

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2009: Chrysler enters bankruptcy restructuring, and in June 2009, Fiat takes control of the company, which is renamed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA).

January 2014: Fiat, under Mr Marchionne's leadership, tightens its grip on Chrysler Group LLC by buying the 41.46 per cent stake it does not already own in a US$4.35 billion deal.

April 2015: The French state increases its Renault stake to 19.74 per cent from 15 per cent in a deal designed to block efforts by Nissan to increase its influence over Renault. The deal is orchestrated by economy minister - and now French president - Emmanuel Macron.

April 2015: Mr Marchionne releases Confessions of a Capital Junkie, a treatise on why consolidation is inevitable for the car industry in a time of tightening emissions regulation and glo-bal competition.

September 2015: Mr Marchionne e-mails General Motors chief executive Mary Barra asking her to explore a combination of the two carmakers and is rebuffed.

July 2018: Fiat Chrysler reveals that Mr Marchionne died from complications in the wake of surgery. Mr Marchionne's successor Mike Manley announces a heavy fall in profit and a commitment to delivering the 2022 strategy of making FCA "strong and independent", while staying flexible about any deal opportunities.

January 2019: Renault says Carlos Ghosn has resigned as chairman and CEO while he faces a financial misconduct probe.

March 2019: Mr Manley says that Fiat Chrysler is open to pursuing alliances and merger opportunities, adding that FCA is not engaged in any merger talks.

May 2019: Fiat Chrysler and Renault announce a proposal to merge, with each company's shareholders controlling 50 per cent of the new entity. REUTERS