Watch Out, Toyota And GM: Nissan And Renault To Tie The Knot. (Update: They Won't)

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
watch out toyota and gm nissan and renault to tie the knot update they won t

Caution: This Nikkei story has been debunked by Nissan.

Often considered, more than often denied, now it’s on the table again: Nissan and Renault, having lived in an open relationship with a joint CEO since 1999, could move under the umbrella of a common holding company. Joint CEO Carlos Ghosn told that to The Nikkei [sub] late Wednesday night in Yokohama. The managements of Nissan and Renault seem convinced that this is the way to go. However, there is a lot of work to be done before the wedding will become official.

The plan is that Nissan and Renault create a holding company which then owns shares of Nissan and Renault. Russia’s AvtoVaz, 25 percent owned by Renault, along with Romanian Dacia and South Korean Renault Samsung Motors, currently subsidiaries Renault, would become parts of the group. The holding would be responsible for setting development, production and sales strategies. The group companies would execute the strategies.

The move would also thoroughly shake up the world ranking of car companies. Had this group existed in 2010, it would have produced close to 7 million cars and would have come into spitting distance of Volkswagen. Both the Volkswagen Group and Nissan have shown impressive growth numbers lately, which would make this race even more interesting. #1 Toyota and #2 GM suddenly would find themselves in hot pursuit by two aggressive groups.

And speaking of groups: If Nissan and Renault would change the current concubinage into a formal marriage, that odd German/Japanese couple Volkswagen and Suzuki could be drawn into doing something similar. If that would happen, the Wolfsburg-Hamamatsu axis would break the 10 million units sound barrier before Toyota or GM have a chance to get there.

However, these are all what ifs at the current point in time. Ghosn told the Nikkei that if the plan is a go, it would take two or three years to implement. Ghosn will have to sell the plan to the shareholders of the group companies, one of them being the French government which owns 15 percent in Renault. The presence of AvtoVaz would provide added suspense.

The matter is giving the Nikkei sleepless nights. At 5 in the Tokyo morning, the Japanese wire service files another article, in which the move is feted as a big breakthrough for the dominance of the all-important emerging markets. However, the Volkswagen Group is likewise well positioned in all the BRIC countries, especially when Suzuki’s considerable market heft in the I of the BRIC is brought into play.

This will be a thrill to watch and to report on.

Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • "scarey" "scarey" on Mar 31, 2011

    Germany and Japan got together once before, if I remember my history. @Acubra- you have quite the acid tongue for someone named after a vinyl nosepiece for a tarted-up Honda.

  • Norma Norma on Mar 31, 2011

    Bertel: What's the latest relationship status of that odd German couple, eh, I mean VW/Suzuki? I heard there's some friction. Any idea how long this sort of living-together-trial will last (either by marriage or separation)?

  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??