Sweden's Volvo and France's Renault announced plans to form the world's second-largest truck group in a $1.52-billion deal that frees the acquisitive French firm to focus on automobiles. Nearly seven years after full-scale merger talks between the two firms collapsed, the Swedish bus and truck maker agreed to acquire Renault's RVI/Mack truck unit, with Renault getting a 15% stake in the combined firm. Under the deal, Renault will buy an additional 5% of Volvo in the open market, giving it a 20% holding. The deal will make Volvo the world's No. 2 truck builder behind DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes truck unit. The combined group will be the largest heavy-truck maker in Europe and No. 2 in the North American market, as well as being a major player in Asia. Ford Motor Co. acquired Volvo's automobile operations in 1999.