Renault-Nissan wants to turn the page after the case Ghosn

Renault-Nissan veut tourner la page apr├Ęs l'affaire Ghosn

Photo: Eugene Hoshiko Associated Press
The president of Renault, Jean-Dominique Senard (in the center), gave up to run for president of Nissan.

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors announced Tuesday the creation of a new operational board of the Alliance, marking “a new start” according to the president of the French constructor Jean-Dominique Senard, who will take the helm of the instance, but waives the right to run for president of Nissan.

Clearly interested in turning the page on the tensions that have undermined the partnership in recent months, Mr. Senard has said that he would not seek this title, left vacant by the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the 19 November in Tokyo for alleged violations. “I will not ask him to preside over Nissan, I will be a candidate for the position of vice-president,” he said repeatedly during a press conference at the headquarters of Nissan in Yokohama. “You will be surprised by the speed of the changes” that will occur, he added.

He clarified, however, that the agreement defining the relationship between Renault and Nissan would not change : “It remains in place as it is,” he assured, denying any problem regarding ownership. Renault owns 43 % of Nissan, which, in turn, owns 15 % of Renault, but without the right to vote, a distribution that appears unbalanced in the eyes of the Japanese on account of the performance of Nissan compared to Renault. Nissan, on the verge of bankruptcy in 1999 when Renault came to his rescue, changed over the years in the heavyweight duo, the experts, citing its technological strengths and its strong presence in North America and China.

By focusing on the rebuilding of the links, the three manufacturers mean the end of the era of Carlos Ghosn, the ubiquitous builder of the alliance put on the key after having been charged by the justice japanese on suspicion of abuse of trust and reducing income tax returns.