Japan: Nissan’s new CEO rules out closer ties with Renault

Nissan’s new chief executive has shelved talks on levelling the ownership structure on its alliance with Renault, saying the two carmakers will focus on reviving their struggling businesses. 

According to the Financial Times, in his first news conference since taking the top job on Sunday, December 1, Makoto Uchida said Nissan was committed to its 20-year partnership with the French group, where ties were strained in the wake of ousting a year ago of their former boss Carlos Ghosn. 

“I am not holding any discussions on capital structure at the moment,” Mr Uchida said at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama. “Both Renault and Nissan are struggling with earnings. In the near term, the priority is in finding how the alliance can contribute to each of the companies in raising their revenue and profits.”

In the weeks ahead of his resignation as Nissan CEO in September, Hiroto Saikawa held talks with Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard about how to equalise the capital structure of the alliance, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. Renault owns 43% in Nissan, while the Japanese group holds 15% in its French partner.

“The alliance is a core source of competitiveness for Nissan,” Mr Uchida said. “We hope to continue with the alliance based on the principle of equal partners and while maintaining the company’s independence.”

Full Content: Financial Times

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