Nissan Wants French State Out of Its Alliance with Renault
28 Octobre 2015 - Autoblog
While it's called the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the French side actually throws around a lot of weight in the relationship, and the government there is the largest shareholder.
Meanwhile, the Japanese company generates about two-thirds of the sales. As leader of both automakers, Carlos Ghosn is reportedly now working to put more control into the Nissan side, according to insiders speaking to Reuters. The French State is expected to fight hard against losing sway.
The government in France prompted Ghosn's distrust after buying up 19.7% of Renault's stock, from a previous 15%. Officials snubbed the CEO by giving him just a few hours notice, according to Reuters. Now, the boss is looking for ways to mitigate state control, but to make this plan happen Ghosn needs formal approval from the Renault board.
If successful, the proposed plan would overhaul the close partnership between the automakers. Whereas the French side currently has the final say in decisions, this move would grant both of them equal power. In addition, Nissan would become the largest owner of Renault, but the French wouldn't have the same control over its Japanese ally.
The French government isn't ready to just hand over power to Ghosn, though, because it reportedly wants to protect jobs in the country. The Alliance "must not be destabilized by governance changes or adjustments that could also lead to conflicts of interest," Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said to Reuters. Clearly, this fight is just beginning.