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Nissan And Renault Will Remain Separate Companies, For Now

The Japanese and French companies want to remain independent.

Renault-Nissan became the largest automaker in the world in 2017. The French and Japanese alliance reached that milestone by adding Mitsubishi into a new, three-way alliance. The partnership will help each of the three automakers cut costs and continue to grow. As it now stands, Renault owns a 43.4% stake in Nissan, and Nissan holds 15% of Renault and 34% of Mitsubishi. Despite obvious advantages to merging the companies, Renault and Nissan want to stay separate.

According to a report by Asia Nikkei's Yu Nakamura, the French government (a majority stakeholder in Renault) is pushing for a merger with Nissan. Despite pressure from the Renault side, Nissan Motor CEO Hiroto Saikawa isn't interested in a merger. "I see no merit" in combining the two companies, Saikawa said in an interview. "I think it would have side effects." Instead, Nissan wants to maintain the three-way alliance and make management more efficient. "The point of the alliance is to keep its members independent and maximize the growth of each," Saikawa said, adding that the current organization would "produce synergies in areas like development and production."

Carlos Ghosn's term as Renault CEO is set to expire, though it seems the company wants to reappoint him. Ghosn said "all options are open" when rethinking the structure of the alliance. Unlike Saikawa, who only heads Nissan, Ghosn chairs all three automakers. We have been waiting to see if Renault's influence would effect Nissan and Mitsubishi on the product side, but it seems the companies are still operating independently, for now.

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