Nissan Announces Proposal To Wrest Power From Renault, Paris

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Nissan has announced a proposal which would end Renault’s control of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and would curtail interferance by the French government.

When we last left off, Nissan was looking to gain a voice in the alliance it made in 1999 with Renault by increasing its stake while mitigating the stake shared between Renault and Paris. The Japanese automaker has held a 15 percent non-voting stake since alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn turned around its fortunes in the early 2000s, as French law prevents affiliates owning less than 40 percent of a French-led company from voting at the shareholders’ table.

Nissan has other ideas.

The stipulations would become a problem in the following decade as Nissan outgrew Renault in sales while also leading in engineering and other fields. The widening gulf has since led to an ongoing standoff since April 2015 between Nissan and Paris after economy minister Emmanuel Macron used a new voting rights law — meant to strengthen voting power of shareholders holding long-term stakes in a given company — to boost Paris’ ownership in Renault from 15 percent to 19.7 percent, securing the government’s standing in the overall alliance.

Reuters reports Nissan’s new proposal would seek limits to voting rights held by the government, along with written guarantees no intervention in Nissan’s operations from Renault — such as selecting the Japanese automaker’s top three executives — would occur.

Were these provisions be violated, however, Nissan would then buy as many shares as it wanted in Renault, and dissolve the alliance.

Renault’s board is set to respond to the proposal December 11. Negotiations between Nissan and Paris continue in the meantime, both sides seeking a compromise to the conflict over governance.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Paddan Paddan on Dec 02, 2015

    Will their cars still be butt-ugly?

    • Redliner Redliner on Dec 02, 2015

      Attractive butts everywhere take offense to your phrasing.

  • Mchan1 Mchan1 on Dec 02, 2015

    Can someone explain why Nissan even partnered with Renault? It appears that Nissan doesn't 'need' Renault anymore. Thanks!

    • See 1 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Dec 03, 2015

      Nissan had financial mismanagement and an aged executive area which did not respond to the changing markets - especially during and after the Japanese housing crash. IIRC, they were mostly made up of the old Prince company execs, not Datsun-Nissan people.

  • TheEndlessEnigma Simply put, I like it.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Ah GM, never stop being you. GM is working hard to make FIAT look good.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Top Gear of the 2000's was a fresh concept and very well done. Sadly to say there isn't a TV show concept that doesn't eventually exhaust fresh ideas and, as a result, begins to rehash and wear out once were fresh ideas. The show eventually becomes a pale imitation of itself, then begins to embarrass itself, it will get to a point where it jumps the shark. Top Gear began to get stale, the Clarkson, Hammond and May left and the formula failed - surprise! the presenters were part of the magic. Fast forward many years and Grand Tower is trying hard to be Top Gear but it's all very obviously scripted (it always was by felt spontaneous in its original form), Clarkson, Hammond and May are much older, tired and have become caricatures of themselves. Guys, just stop. You should have stopped 10 years ago. Now you're just screwing with your reputations and legacies.
  • FreedMike Kudos to Toyota for making a legitimately slick looking piece (particularly in metallic cherry red). But PHEVs seem like a very narrow niche to me. Yes, the concept is cool - if you play your cards right you never have to fill up with gas, and the gas engine means you don't have to worry about charging facilities - but the operative words are "if you play your cards right." And PHEVs have all the drawbacks of EVs - spotty charging availability, decreased range in cold conditions, and higher price. Personally, I'd opt for a non plug-in Prius and use the plug-in money to upgrade the trim level. It's slower, but even the base Prius performs roughly on par with a Corolla or Civic, so it's not a dog anymore. But who buys a Prius to go fast in the first place? If I wanted to "go gas free," I'd just buy a BEV. YMMV, of course.
  • Analoggrotto Anyone seeking benchmark affluence will get the EV9 by Kia the most cutting edge electric vehicle on the market bar none.
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