the fall of Carlos Ghosn, the protagonist of a film evasion of justice japanese two weeks ago, could follow him in brief of its legacy business. Twenty years ago, the former president of Nissan was the urdidor of the union of the japanese company to the French Renault, a entente of which Mitsubishi is the third leg and that manufactures one out of every nine cars in the world. This alliance, which is subjected from the beginning to constant turbulence, could be about to come crashing down.
The dome of Nissan would have accelerated a secret plan of contingency to study the impact of a possible rupture, according to reports in Monday's Financial Times. The program, which would leads to a partial renewal of the board of directors, would consider what are the benefits for the japanese firm according to the current arrangement, in particular in the field of technology and engineering, and how they would be affected if forced to provide these items independently.
The crisis by the fall of Ghosn
it is Not the first time that these branches of industry are a matter of concern in Tokyo. Even during the time of leadership of Ghosn, when the alliance is living its best days, the decision of linking the divisions of engineering and manufacturing of both companies have generated discontent among the engineers, who understood it as an intrusion into the core identity of the japanese house.
The implementation of this plan would be aligned with the arguments of the defense of Ghosn. The businessman, accused of misappropriation of funds, has maintained in all his time his innocence since he was arrested for the first time in November 2018. His thesis is that the case is part of a plot orchestrated by the nationalist faction of Nissan, with its plans to carry out a full merger with Renault.
According to declare the anonymous sources quoted by the british newspaper, all the efforts for improving relations would not have borne fruit. A majority of executives of the japanese firm already believes that the alliance hampers its economic progress. Currently, Renault owns a 43.4% of the shares of Nissan, which owns 15% of the French automotive, although without the right to vote.
Will have to look for new partners
A hypothetical fracture would leave both to the need of finding new trading partners in an industry that suffers from sales dwindling and costs emerging. The urgency would be even more acute taking into account that his rivals are joining forces, with the merger of Fiat and Chrysler –a company that Renault pushed last year in an operation that failed in part because of the tension between the partners– with PSA on one side, and the alliance of Ford and Volkswagen on the other.
This news arrives precisely when it was expected that in the coming weeks, the president of Renault, Jean-Dominique Senard, announced new joint projects, intended to demonstrate that the nexus francojaponés continues to be fruitful. “We will not survive if we do not move quickly and cooperate in the truth”, he said last month in an interview with the same media. One of these projects is Ariya, an all-electric vehicle to be developed that Nissan intends to launch in less than three years, developed thanks to the collaboration of Renault.
Senard had expressed his desire that the arrival of a new leadership at Nissan contribute to improving relations between the two firms, very deteriorated since the fall of Ghosn. Last October, Makoto Uchida, head of operations in China from 2018, took the reins of the company. On his appointment, which was unanimous, weighed his international experience and his dedication to the alliance with Renault, as declared then the head of the selection committee. But plans sometimes change.Updated Date: 14 January 2020, 15:00