France: A Merger of Sorts

In his campaign to ward off U.S. business dominance of France, imaginary or real, Charles de Gaulle has encouraged the formation of indigenous industrial giants powerful enough to compete with American firms. Last week, with the encouragement of De Gaulle's government, two of the oldest automakers in the world, both founded in France around the turn of the century as family concerns, joined to form what was described as an "association."

Now publicly owned, the firm of Renault, biggest automaker in France, and the private firm of Peugeot, the third biggest after Citroen, will cooperate on research, design, investment,...