Even if the French government has recently softened its stance, Carlos Ghosn is determined to strengthen the position of the Japanese company.
In an attempt to cool things down between the two alliance partners, Nissan and Renault, France has offered to limit its voting rights at Renault, as the struggle for power and control has lately reached high levels of intensity. “We will return to 15 percent. We won’t lose money on this transaction. We’re not far from being able to do it,” the Economy Minister of France, Emmanuel Macron, said in an interview. But even if the French government intends to take a slight step back, some sources say that alliance’s joint CEO Carlos Ghosn remains determined to make some changes that would give the Japanese company greater influence over the partnership, readjusting the balance of power.
The French government’s unofficial proposal and the reluctance showed by the Ghosn suggest the impasse in which the two sides are and also indicates that the tense situation cannot be easily appeased by Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron. Hiroto Saikawa, Ghosn’s second-in-command at Nissan, also expressed its dissatisfaction with the French position during the meeting in which the government has softened its stance, one of the sources said.
“Just going back to the situation of seven months ago is not enough,” said a Renault-Nissan insider familiar with alliance thinking. “It’s clear there has to be a better balance between the two companies.” Renault currently owns a 43.4 percent controlling stake in Nissan, while the Japanese automaker has a 15 percent stake in Renault with non-voting rights.