Renault in talks for new alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi

French automaker Renault SA today said it is in talks with its Japanese partners Nissan and Mitsubishi Motor over a new, deeper alliance among the three companies.

“In response to recent press reports, Renault confirms that it is in discussions with its Alliance partners Nissan Motor Co, Ltd and Mitsubishi Motor Co., Ltd. regarding the establishment of a new Alliance body in order to enhance and ensure further collaboration,” Renault said in a statement.
“The proposed arrangement will have no impact on the existence of the RAMA (Restated Alliance Master Agreement), and the cross-shareholding structure, which will both remain in place,” added Renault.
A Reuters report citing sources close to the development said the new Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi joint venture will be headed by Renault’s new chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard.
The new joint venture will replace Dutch-based companies currently linking Nissan and Renault and, separately, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the report said.
The heads of the partners will hold a press briefing at Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters on Tuesday, Nissan said.
Carlos Ghosn, the sacked chairman of the current joint venture and chairman on Renault, is expected to meet the press at an “opportune time”, sources said.
Meanwhile, a Tokyo court has rejected ousted Nissan boss Ghosn’s request to attend a board meeting this week.
Prosecutors submitted a document to the Tokyo District Court from Nissan stating its opposition to Ghosn attending Tuesday’s board meeting, Ghosn’s lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters.
“Nissan’s strong opposition to Ghosn’s attendance is very regrettable,” Hironaka said outside his law office. The defence team still had time to appeal the decision, he added, and the lawyers later duly filed an appeal, according to Kyodo News.
Ghosn who faces charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan by about $82 million over nearly a decade, is out on a $9 million bail after the court granted him bail last week after more than 100 days in detention.
The Tokyo District Court on Monday declined to temporarily suspend a condition of Ghosn’s bail that bars him from meeting people linked to his case.
The court’s decision comes as Renault, Nissan’s top shareholder, confirmed it was in talks with Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors about setting up a new alliance body to improve their collaboration.
Some at Nissan had been unhappy with Ghosn’s push for a deeper tie-up, including possibly a full merger.
Ghosn, however, remains on the boards of all three automakers, as a shareholder vote is still required to remove a board member.