Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler confirmed on Wednesday it was holding talks with French rival PSA for a potential tie-up aimed at creating one of the world's leading groups in the automotive industry.
The two automakers are in talks to combine, in a deal that could create a $50 billion player, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
FCA said in a statement it had nothing more to add this time.
In reaction to the deal, the French foreign ministry told CNBC Wednesday that Paris was following the discussions between PSA and FCA with "attention and open-mindedness."
Using a CNBC translation, the statement from the office of Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire's said France was keen to take part in global consolidation in the auto industry but would be "especially careful to protect France's industrial footprint."
The French ministry added that it would seek to have a strong say in the governance of any new entity and would "protect the sovereign interests of the BPI (French government's private investment fund)."
It also wanted to protect oversight of any "confirmation of the new (combined) group's commitment to create a Europe-wide (electric car) battery industry."
CNBC contributed to this report.