Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Nissan, Renault to rework alliance, Latest World News

Nissan, Renault to rework alliance, Latest World News

The court's decision came as French automaker Renault SA (PA:), Nissan's top shareholder, confirmed it was in talks with Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors about setting up a new alliance body to improve their collaboration.

Renault has sidelined a senior executive close to Carlos Ghosn, as the French vehicle maker and its Japanese affiliate Nissan continue to overhaul management in the wake of the financial scandal engulfing their former chairman.

Renault-Nissan alliance was first set up during 1999 and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. had been added to the alliance in 2016, and, Carlos Ghosn who had served a Chair for all three companies and the alliance boss, had been thrusting for a much deeper tie-up between Renault and Nissan, including a possible merger, before his arrest and dismissal on November past year on accusations of alleged financial misconducts.

That would replace Dutch-based companies now linking Nissan and Renault and, separately, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the people said. He had made use of his position as head of the company to transfer losses arising from his personal investment upon carmaker Nissan, though he has denied all such charges. In Japan, preparations can take months. He was released on 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) bail last week. He has been let out on bail under conditions that he should remain in Japan and should not destroy evidence.

"Mr Ghosn wants to have some time to mull over what he's going to say", Junichiro Hironaka told reporters outside his Tokyo office after meeting with Ghosn throughout the day.

His request and subsequent appeal were both rejected by the Tokyo District Court as part of his bail agreement prohibits him from contacting with Nissan executives or others potentially involved in the case against him.

Ghosn also handpicked former Nissan executives Mitsuhiko Yamashita and Vincent Cobee to help him rebuild Mitsubishi after its fuel-efficiency scandal.

The automaker has said it intends to appoint a new chairman based on proposals by the committee. This has always been an issue for Nissan executives, who believe the larger Japanese automaker shouldn't be controlled by the small European brand.

Currently, Renault owns a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, with Nissan in turn holding a 15 percent stake in its French partner. Before his arrest in November, Ghosn had been chairman of all three individual companies while also leading the alliance.

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