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LONDON — Fiat Chrysler proposes merger with Renault to create carmaking powerhouse

Two of the world’s biggest carmakers may soon join forces.

Fiat Chrysler said Monday that it had submitted a merger proposal to French rival Renault. Each carmaker would control half of the merged entity, it added.

Renault said in a statement that its board of directors would meet on Monday to discuss the proposal.

The companies had been discussing ways to cooperate on products and new technologies, but Fiat Chrysler said more could be gained from a merger.

“These discussions made clear that broader collaboration through a combination would substantially improve capital efficiency and the speed of product development,” the company said.

Fiat Chrysler owns brands including Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. It said a merger would create a company with annual vehicle sales of 8.7 million.

The proposal is the latest example of established automakers seeking partnerships to share the costs of developing new technologies including electric vehicles and autonomous driving systems.

(PHOTO: Picture Alliance/Getty Images)