As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault move on from their failed merger talks, a revival of discussions would depend on overcoming at least two major obstacles.
FCA blamed "political conditions in France" when it withdrew its proposal, and a signal from the French state that it would give up its sway over Renault would be necessary for a resumption of talks, people with knowledge of the situation said.
One option would see France agreeing to reduce its 15 percent stake after obtaining commitments by FCA on French jobs and plants, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.
For Renault and the state, its most powerful shareholder, repairing the relationship with long-time partner Nissan will take priority over looking at a FCA deal, officials have said.
France in particular views securing the Japanese carmaker's explicit backing as crucial for the success of a Fiat-Renault combination. Nissan representatives on Renault's board abstained in an informal vote on the deal last week, leading France to seek a delay.
Despite the finger-pointing that followed the failed talks, Renault, FCA and France have left the door ajar for a possible deal as they brace for the costly changes sweeping the industry, such as developing electric and autonomous vehicles.
"The project remains, in my head, absolutely remarkable and exceptional," Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard told shareholders on Wednesday.
FCA, in pulling the offer, said it remained "firmly convinced of the compelling, transformational rationale" of its proposal. Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said Thursday that it is an "interesting opportunity" and that talks could resume once the Renault-Nissan alliance has been reinforced.