Daily Management Review

New Renault Chief To Meet Nissan Chief As Alliance Remains Under Strain


02/14/2019




New Renault Chief To Meet Nissan Chief As Alliance Remains Under Strain
Jean-Dominique Senard, the newly appointed chairman of French car maker Renault would be meeting Nissan Motor CEO Hiroto Saikawa for the second time since the French company had appointed him to replace the arrested former chairman of the company Carlos Ghosn in Japan.
 
This was first reported by French newspaper Le Figaro.
 
In comments which were quite significant, Senard said about his meeting with the Nissan boss that this was not an appropriate time to hold discussions about whether he would also become the head of Nissan. Ghosn headed Renault as well as Nissan where the French car maker has 43 per cent stake.
 
The comments made by Senard when he landed in Japan for the talks were reported in the Japanese media and were ostensibly aimed at not putting more strain on the alliance and relationship between the French and the Japanese companies. many in Japan view the alliance shifted tilted unequally in Renaulkts favour because of the 43 per cent share with voting rights while Nissan does not have the same on Renault.
 
The visit by Senard would be the first by a Renault’s top brass since the arrest of Ghosn in Tokyo in November on charges of financial misconduct.
 
The alliance between Renault and Nissan – of which Japanese auto company Mitsubishi is also a member, has been under pressure since the arrest of Ghosn as the entire global auto industry was stirred by the arrest. Ghoshn was arrested on November 19 and is still in detention.
 
While saying that the time was not right for holding any discussions about him also heading Nissan, Senard said that he expected the discussions would be amicable, according to a report by Jiji news agency.
 
Senard was made the chairman of Renault three weeks ago and it is expected that he would also be made a member of the Nissan board because of the 43 per cent share of the French car maker in the Japanese car maker.
 
According to reports, Senard’s visit to Japan is being described as a friendly, introductory call. However, there has been tension between the two companies because Ghosn was initially not removed as the Renault’s head and apparently supported him until he was forced to resign last month. Added to this is a sense of unhappiness among a section of Nissan executives over the degree of influence of Renault on Nissan. Compared to the 43 per cent stake with voting rights that Renault has in Nissan, the Japanese auto manufacturer has just a 15 per cent non-voting stake in the French car maker.
 
“There are various topics to discuss, but my responsibility is to Nissan stakeholders, to employees and customers and shareholders other than Renault, and Mr. Senard is in the same position,” Nissan’s Saikawa told reporters. “The main thing is to talk about the future responsibly.”
 
There is strain in the relationship or the alliance between the two companies because it was essentially forced forged by Ghosn and he was also the driving force in the alliance which was forged in 1999. This was when Nissan was rescued from a near bankruptcy with investments form Renault. The alliance was further expanded when Mitsubishi was included in the alliance.
 
(Source:www.asia.nikkei.com)






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