Italy’s Fiat Chrysler and France’s Renault announced they were in advanced merger talks that could create a new leader in the global car manufacturing industry. The proposal was advanced by Fiat, with the vocal support of Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, and was welcomed by Renault.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire made clear that France would require job guarantees to allow the emergence of one of the biggest auto-empires in the world. Fiat has made no commitment on jobs but a 15% share of Renault is owned by the French state, a fact that according to Le Maire would not change after the merger.

Renault already has a long-standing alliance with Japan’s Nissan and Mitsubishi, forged by Carlos Ghosn, the Brazilian-born former Renault CEO who was detained in Japan eight months ago.

If the merger with Fiat comes to fruition, the group would emerge as the third biggest automaker in the world after Volkswagen and Toyota. Renault has also been discussing with Fiat and Peugeot about the possibility of sharing technology and production platforms. If that alliance is complete, the group would emerge as the biggest in the world.