Renault and Nissan are about to “reboot” the global alliance

Renault Group and Nissan Motor are in the final stages of negotiations to reset their global alliance, with the French automaker looking to significantly reduce its stake in its Japanese partner, according to reports in Japan.

Local media have hinted that the two companies are nearing a “historic” realignment of their auto alliance that dates back more than two decades, when Renault became the largest shareholder in a nearly bankrupt Nissan.

Since then, Nissan has outgrown Renault and in recent years, particularly since Carlos Ghosn’s controversial departure from the company, has become increasingly dissatisfied with its junior position in the alliance.

After months of negotiations, an announcement was expected in the coming weeks that would see Renault ready to reduce its stake in Nissan from 44% to 15% and bring it in line with Nissan’s stake in Renault. Nissan was also expected to invest in Ampere, Renault’s new electric vehicle (EV) business, although how much remained unclear.

Renault was not expected to sell its 28% stake in Nissan immediately as the share price is near a decade-low, but the shares would later be placed in a trust for sale once valuations have improved sufficiently.

Local reports, citing unnamed company insiders, suggested that Nissan’s independent directors had given the proposals “the green light”.

Mitsubishi Motors’ position in the three-way alliance should remain unchanged. The company joined in 2016 after Nissan bought a 34 percent stake in its ailing Japanese rival.

Final details of a deal between Renault and Nissan are expected to be agreed at a meeting in Japan on January 26, with a formal agreement and announcement expected the following week.

Analysts expected the new deal would help improve the relationship between Nissan and Renault and pave the way for deeper collaboration in the EV segment, based on Nissan’s strong technology base and Renault’s strong position in Europe.


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