Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive officer of both automakers has pledged the 16-year old partnership’s survival between France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan during an appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show.
While the alliance has been revered as one of the few examples of a successful alliance between two different automakers and, ultimately, rivals, the partnership has been attacked lately by the move by the French government to consolidate its position within Renault. While the latter is a controlling partner in the alliance and has a majority stake in Nissan, many industry experts believe the balance of power will not remain unchecked and the Japanese carmaker could move to purchase a stake in Renault to also have voting rights. Ghosn declined to detail all the proceeds, but he did signal the alliance would not break down. “From time to time you are going to have crisis, problems, divergence,” he commented on the sidelines of the Tokyo show, but the duo is “aligned on the fact that the alliance has been a tremendous success.” He also said they became a role model for the auto industry which could face more consolidation. The alliance itself has a very successful partnership with Germany’s Daimler, which has grown from point to point projects to a wide range expansion.
And this is a theme that is dearly loved – lately – by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne – though his stride to have a suitable merger partner for the Italian-American automaker has fallen on deaf ears. Ghosn, which has knit together an effective strategy with Daimler’s Dieter Zetsche on a number of key projects, says the consolidation will come even as the US sees a tremendous recovery. Meanwhile, worldwide sales have remained level, with little prospect to grow more than 2 percent next year.