Nissan-Renault Alliance Needs a Sustainable Future, Ghosn Says

(Bloomberg) -- The alliance between Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. needs to come up with a sustainable plan for a future when Carlos Ghosn is no longer around as chairman to guide the partnership, the top executive said.

The main concern is how to assure all stakeholders that “we will continue to go well in the long term,” Ghosn said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Stephen Engle in Hong Kong on Friday. “We have to solve something, which supposedly may happen after my term is finished. We are on the right track.”

Ghosn, 64, has said the alliance is considering many options to help deepen the tie-up between the Japanese and French automakers into something “irreversible.” Bloomberg News reported last month that the two are in talks to merge under a single stock, a move that could help them pool resources better in the new age of electrified vehicles and autonomous driving.

Any decision by the stakeholders in the alliance will come only after all parties agree on the strategy to sustain the partnership, Ghosn said. He said that it’s too early to say who will sell what and who will buy what.

The cross-shareholding structure between Nissan and Renault has complicated things. Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan and has voting rights, while the Japanese company -- which contributes more revenue and profit -- has a 15 percent stake in its French counterpart without voting rights.

Ghosn said that the alliance will continue to work with partners in China, even as the Asian country plans to lift the 50 percent limit on investment by foreign automaker in what has become the world’s biggest car market.

Separately, Nissan’s executive vice president for global sales and marketing, Daniele Schillaci, said the Yokohama-based carmaker plans to boost capacity in China and the U.S. by 2022, adding the share of EV and e-power sales in Japan will increase to 50 percent by 2025 from 30 percent at present.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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