Renault saved Nissan in 1999. The partnership now boasts the highest profit margins in the industry. GM took a $10.6 billion plunge last year. Can the powerhouse French / Japanese duo rescue the US’s largest auto maker?

The offer by the French / Japanese group to buy a 20% stake in GM would arm the troubled automaker with a potential $3.3 billion dollar in cash.

Although the car industry has undergone much consolidation in the past decade, most of it has been disastrous. Jaguar and Saab, were consumed by Ford and GM respectively only to cost many billions in further losses. The Daimler-Benz Chrysler merger took approximately 5 years to stabilize.

If the Renault Nissan group purchases a stake in GM, it’s estimated that the conglomerate would hold a 21.9% global market share, ahead of Toyota with a 12.3% global market share (source Automotive news). An extremely aggressive move, to say the least.

The two car manufacturers are due to meet this week in Detroit for further talks. Many Wall Street analysts, including Standard & Poors, are skeptic that the deal will go through.

The key questions remain: Can GM reclaim it’s title of “king” of the automobile industry without the help of foreign investments? Or are we in an era that requires cross-continent M & A’s to retain profitability in this highly competitive auto industry?