Maintain Your Distance: Renault Sets Boundaries for the French Government

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
maintain your distance renault sets boundaries for the french government

Renault finds itself reeling from pandemic-related shutdowns and industrial partnerships that proved more troublesome than helpful. Its alliance partner, Nissan, has been incredibly wary of any further integration with the French company — providing a major distraction within the alliance, even as the situation on the ground worsened. They’re now trying to reorganize the partnership while addressing the crippling financial situation they’ve both been confronted with.

Any talks of a merger (something Nissan clearly doesn’t want) have been suspended so the automakers can focus on reducing operating costs (layoffs, product reorganization, etc.). The duo also sought financial help to offset money lost back when we were all still collectively handling the pandemic in a super serious manner. While Nissan was interested in landing private loans, Renault hoped to get its aid via the French government. However, Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard made it clear that not all help will be welcomed, especially if it means nationalizing the company.

According to Reuters, Renault believes any further investment by the French government would be a waste of everyone’s time. “I’ve said that it isn’t on the table,” Senard told a hearing in the lower house of the French parliament on Thursday. “I have nothing against the state, I’m just saying that it’s not useful to spend taxpayer money to invest it in a company which needs to find its own resources.”

That said, the automaker would still like to see a state-guaranteed loan totaling 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion USD) fall into its pocket to help it through this troubled time.

Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan’s shares, while Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault and lacks voting privileges. France also happens to own 15 percent of Renault and often has something to say whenever the firm decides to make major decisions. That hasn’t gone over well with Japanese investors and a sizable chunk of Nissan’s leadership, making it one of the biggest reasons why they oppose continued integration within the alliance. It also played a role in kiboshing the proposed merger with Fiat Chrysler.

Spooked by French politics and a palpably displeased Nissan, FCA turned away from the deal to make a new arrangement with Renault’s French rival, PSA Group.

[Image: TY Lim/Shutterstock]

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 13, 2020

    What's wrong is that the Government bureaucrats get involved in the production of cars and that didn't work out so well for British Leyland. For Nissan ever since Renault their products have gone down the tubes and their only hope for survival is severing themselves from Renault.

  • 3800FAN 3800FAN on Jun 13, 2020

    I work on IT/telcom and ive had the Workpro bag for a couple years now and its been great for my tools.

  • Hunter Ah California. They've been praying for water for years, and now that it's here they don't know what to do with it.
  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.
  • Arthur Dailey Love the Abe Rothstein tribute suits. Too bad about the car. Seems to have been well loved for most of its life.
  • K. R. Worth noting that the climate control is shared with (donated to) the Audi 5000 of the mid-late 1980s.