Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi promise “new start” to alliance

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have promised “a new start” to their alliance as they attempt to move on from the arrest and ousting of chief Carlos Ghosn.

In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) released this morning, the three car makers confirmed the creation of a new board, headed up by Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard. The other three key members will be the CEOs of each firm: Renault’s Thierry Bolloré, Nissan’s Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi’s Osamu Masuko.

The new board replaces and incorporates existing joint ventures and committees formed by the three companies under a single entity.

The MoU said that operation decisions taken by the board will be “consensus-based, further the Alliance’s ‘win-win’ approach”.

It added that the new board will “drive the operational co-operation between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors and look for new ways to generate value for its respective shareholders and employees” and promised to accelerate operational activities “through key focus on deliveries of strategic common projects” that will reported to the board for “quick decision making”.

Renault, hoping to placate Nissan after the Ghosn fallout, has also agreed to let Nissan’s Special Committee, a panel of outsiders, select a replacement for Ghosn as Nissan chairman. The MoU said Senard should be “a natural candidate” for the role of vice chairman.

Relations between Nissan and Renault are understood to be strained following the arrest of Ghosn in November 2018 on charges of financial misconduct. Prior to this, there had been discussions on a full merger between Nissan and Renault, but it’s not clear whether this will go ahead.

Ghosn remains a director at Nissan and Renault despite being stripped of his titles, but a meeting of Nissan shareholders due on 8 April will decide whether to oust him from the board.

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