Nissan and Renault seek deal to restructure alliance amid disagreement over electric vehicle investment and power imbalance
The restructuring of the Renault-Nissan Alliance has been under discussion since the beginning of 2022. The automakers have been partners for over 20 years and are negotiating the renewal of the agreement. In addition, in 2016 the Japanese company took over Mitsubishi, which became a member of the group. But the deal is shaky. Recently, Renault and Nissan revealed that they should make an important announcement soon. However, three sources linked to the group told the Reuters news agency that the discussions are far from reaching a conclusion. There are stalemates for renewing the alliance on both sides.
According to sources, Renault expects Nissan to invest in Ampere, the French electric vehicle arm. On the other hand, the Japanese wants to rebalance the structure of the group. That overhaul involves the sale of part of Renault’s 43% stake in Nissan shares.
According to Reuters, on November 29, Groupe Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said he was optimistic about a deal. Both in relation to the restructuring of its partnership and on Nissan’s participation in the French electric division. However, the executive did not want to talk about a possible announcement or advance any point of negotiation.
Completion should be for 2023
So far, nothing has been signed. However, Be that as it may, there are strong rumors that Nissan and Renault will disclose details of the agreement in the coming weeks. Initially, a first meeting would have taken place on December 7th. However, concluding negotiations may take time.
In principle, sharing the intellectual rights to its technological contributions is one of Nissan’s main concerns. Renault’s dominant position in the alliance has been a source of dissatisfaction for executives at the Japanese manufacturer for a long time. Even Nissan would not have the right to vote in Renault’s strategy discussions.
According to the international press, meanwhile, Renault continues at full speed in the formation of new partnerships. Recently, the French company announced several actions to decarbonize its factories. In addition, it signed an alliance with the also French Airbus to develop solid-state batteries. It is expected that the reformulation will take effect in early 2023.
Changes at Mitsubishi
The Alliance includes Mitsubishi Motors. In 2016, Nissan bought 34% of the shares of the brand, which was in trouble. Thus, it did like Renault, which saved Nissan from bankruptcy, in 1999. However, since the end of 2018, the Alliance has been at risk. That year, the then CEO of the group, Carlos Ghosn, was arrested in Japan. The Japanese are mainly dissatisfied with the fact that Renault has the most power in the group.
That is, Renault has a 43% stake in Nissan. That is, in practice, Mitsubishi just watches while the two big ones fight for power. In addition, Renault wants to expand its agreement with Geely, which owns Volvo. But Nissan does not want to share technologies and patents with the Chinese company.
In January 2022, a strategic plan was announced that includes bringing the three brands together in the coming years. After a long period with separate projects, the idea is to accelerate the joint development of platforms. Especially for electric vehicles. As a result, the target is to launch 35 new electrified models by 2030. As well as five platforms by 2027.