On January 14th Nissan motored from considering dismantling its alliance with Renault, which was further shaken by the dramatic departure of former union chairman Michael Ghosn. “The alliance is the source of Nissan’s competitiveness,” Yokohama-based Nissan Motor said in a statement on Tuesday, dismissing many current reports that Nissan executives are beginning to focus on pulling out of the alliance. “Nissan will continue to deliver a win-win performance for all alliance members through the Alliance, which will deliver sustainable profitable growth.” ”
Renault’s near-bankrupt Nissan stake two decades ago marked the birth of the alliance, and Mitsubishi Motors joined in 2016 as a new member. After Ghosn’s arrest, doubts about the alliance’s prospects have been raised over the past year. Mr. Ghosn, who was arrested in November 2018 and successfully fled Japan at the end of December to escape trial for financial crimes, played a crucial role in the alliance’s survival.
In his first press conference since last week’s dramatic flight out of Lebanon, the former Nissan and Renault chief executive struggled to snobbehave the recent performance of the two companies. Indeed, the two companies are already in financial trouble, with their shares at the bottom of all major carmaker stocks last year, and Nissan and Renault increasingly alienated at a time when cost pressures on electric and driverless cars have prompted the industry to join forces or consolidate.
With Renault holding a 43 per cent stake in Nissan and Nissan holding 15 per cent of Renault, it is unclear how viable the two break up will be.
Still, Nissan has been weighing the pros and cons of continuing to maintain the alliance, especially the implications of design and technology sharing, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be named. The consideration began long before Mr. Ghosn fled Japan, but it was still in its infancy, the person said.