Fiat Chrysler essentially said “NVM, LOL” this week in regards to its own proposal to merge with French automaker Renault, withdrawing its proposal 10 days after first shocking the automotive world by submitting it. But it isn’t a crushing setback for the Italian-American automaker, says Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

That’s because Fiat Chrysler, though still small by global automaker standards, is much healthier than it was a couple years ago when it proposed merging with cross-town rival General Motors.

But in some ways, it’s hardly surprising the merger didn’t pan out. In addition to bowing to complications stemming from the French government’s ownership of a minority stake in Renault, the Italian (Fiat) and Japanese (Nissan, part of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance) would all likely have had their paws in the dealmaking process. So too might the U.S. government have gotten involved, Dziczek said, owing to national security interests.

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