Nissan CEO rules out closer capital ties with Renault

Nissan Murano Z51

Nissan Motor is focused on its automaking alliance with Renault SA but is not going to look to deepen its capital ties with the automaker any time soon, its new CEO stated on Monday.

On his first day in the new position, chief executive Makoto Uchida also pledged to repair profitability at Japan’s No. 2 automaker and said setting realistic targets would be key toward that goal, as it attempts to make a clean break from the leadership of former CEO Carlos Ghosn.

“Closer capital ties with Renault are not a focus in the short term,” he informed reporters.

Uchida became CEO of Nissan on December 1, as the automaker attempts to recover from a profit downturn and draw a line under a year of turmoil following the Ghosn scandal. The former chairman is battling financial misconduct charges in Japan.

One of the new CEO’s big tasks is to salvage alliance with Renault, which have worsened since Ghosn’s removal as chairman of both companies.

Renault holds a 43.4% stake in Nissan after it saved the Japanese automaker from financial deterioration two decades ago, and has pushed for the two companies to merge.

In declining a notion of a merger with Renault, Uchida, 53, echoes his predecessor Hiroto Saikawa, who departed in September.

He added that the alliance must re-valuate how it can serve all of its three members, which also includes Mitsubishi Motors.

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