Renault-Nissan Alliance Quietly Scales Back Joint Functions

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
renault nissan alliance quietly scales back joint functions

Without the glue that was Carlos Ghosn holding the Renault-Nissan Alliance together, some of the partnership’s joint-business operations are reportedly being disbanded as corporate relations continue to sour. Nissan quietly started dissolving the Office of the CEO in April, after a special corporate governance committee claimed it was one of the reasons why it was so difficult to detect Ghosn’s alleged financial misconduct.

The Japanese automaker has since sought to rejigger its own management structure, as per the committee’s suggestions, however Renault intends on blocking those governance changes. Now the Financial Times is reporting that the two companies are gradually unwinding departments providing oversight for collaborative efforts related to light commercial vehicles, sales and marketing, communications and more.

In 2018, Ghosn made a laundry list of appointments from both companies to support alliance-level functions — sometimes creating entirely new departments. Many executives were redeployed to oversee operations between the two firms, ranging from manufacturing projects to after-sales services. Other divisions, like purchasing, were already merged. But unnamed insiders have reported numerous departments are dismissing their staff while others are simply sitting idle with people having “nothing to do.”

From FT:

The idea was to set the businesses on a course of ever-greater integration, with the aim of achieving €10bn of joint synergies by 2022, and thus making the alliance “irreversible.”

Since Mr. Ghosn’s arrest on charges that he denies, France and Japan have drifted further apart, in part because of an increasingly strained relationship between the two rival management teams.

“It is fair to say the relationship is as bad as we have seen in 20 years, and that is having an impact on joint operations,” said a second person close to the situation.

While these decisions are primarily about Nissan and Renault gaining distance from the Ghosn era, nullifying agencies used to help the alliance collaborate makes it appear as though they’re also trying to achieve space from each other. As things currently stand, neither manufacturer has done much to assuage fears that their differences have become irreconcilable.

The only noteworthy exception is Nissan’s latest proposal to establish a new “strategy committee” with seats reserved for Renault’s chairman and CEO. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduling time to discuss the dire state of the automotive alliance with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week.

[Image: Gilles Lougassi/Shutterstock]

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.