Renault SA absorbing Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors is not an alternative as the automakers seek to strengthen their partnership while retaining their autonomy, alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn stated on Friday.
“Anybody who will ask Nissan and Mitsubishi to become wholly owned subsidiaries of Renault has no chance of getting a result,” Ghosn informed shareholders of Mitsubishi Motors at a meeting. He is also a chief executive of France’s Renault.
The alliance was the top-selling passenger vehicle maker worldwide in 2017, but as the international auto industry consolidates, it is looking to strengthen its stance before the 64-year-old Ghosn, its main architect, retires in the coming years after overseeing the partnership for almost 2 decades.
It was reported in March that the automakers were talking about a deeper tie-up, which could see the French government, a significant shareholder in Renault, give up influence at Renault and the French automaker relinquish control over Nissan.
The three automakers have a distinctive partnership designed to leverage their combined scale to save on expenses including R&D, parts procurement and production to better compete with competitors Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor.
They are also interlinked by their shareholding structure. Renault has 43.4 percent of shares in Nissan, where as Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault, with no voting rights in a partnership that began in 1999. Mitsubishi Motors joined the alliance in 2016 following Nissan’s takeover of 34 percent controlling stake in the smaller automaker.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has stated the alliance is not discussing a “full merger”.