Is the Renault-Nissan Alliance about to implode?

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Words: Nile Bijoux
14 Jan 2020

Nissan is allegedly working on a plan to separate itself from Renault as the fallout from Carlos Ghosn’s great escape continues.

According to the Financial Times, senior executives are forming a contingency plan to divide Renault’s and Nissan’s engineering and manufacturing departments. The story goes that executives at Nissan believe the French brand is holding back its success.

If a split were to happen, both manufacturers would likely look to other brands for new partnerships as a result of rising research and development costs and falling sales.

Autocar UK says Renault’s chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, will reveal details of several Alliance projects in upcoming weeks. These are meant to show the unity between Renault and Nissan (and Mitsubishi) but insiders at the latter reckon the morale of workers is poor.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has been operational for nearly twenty years but Carlos Ghosn recently said his arrest resulted when Nissan higher-ups collaborated with the Japanese government. In a press conference last week, following his flight from Japan, Ghosn called the events that led to his arrest “a systematic campaign by a handful of malevolent actors.”

He added: “I've spent the previous months being interrogated up to eight hours a day with no lawyers present. ‘It will get worse for you if you don’t confess', they said - and this was recorded. ‘If you confess it will be over, and if you don’t confess, we will go after your family’." According to the former boss, his family were also subjected to “media attacks orchestrated by Japanese prosecutors and Nissan executives”.

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