Nissan and Renault discuss electric vehicle strategy  information

Nissan and Renault discuss electric vehicle strategy information


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese carmaker Nissan and its French partner Renault are reorganizing their forces and exploring a joint electric vehicle strategy.

Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida told Reuters on Friday the talks are aimed at improving electric mobility and increasing competitiveness at a time of economic uncertainty. “The discussion we are having is how we can improve our competitiveness. That is the main thing,” emphasized Uchida. The two automakers are linked through cross-ownership which has often been a source of friction between the companies in the past. Against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, talks on restructuring are now gaining additional weight.

The companies said last month they were in discussions about the future of their alliance formed in 1999. Nissan is considering investing in Renault’s planned electric vehicle division. According to insiders, an agreement between the Japanese and the French should be reached by November 15.

Uchida declined to comment on whether an agreement would be reached this month. However, he said he speaks with Renault boss Luca de Meo every weekend and that talks should continue in the coming days. “We want it to be an equal partnership,” the Nissan boss said. The sticking point in the talks was the use of technology, according to people familiar with the talks. Uchida, who has been involved in the Franco-Japanese alliance for much of his career at Nissan, emphasized that the talks were based on mutual trust.

For years, the Japanese have felt dominated by the French, who own 43 percent of Nissan. In contrast, Nissan holds 15 percent of Renault, but without voting rights. The federal government is returning to longtime CEO Carlos Ghosn, who held the reins at both companies before being fired a few years ago after allegations of breach of trust.

According to insiders, both sides have discussed reducing Renault’s stake in Nissan and under what conditions this could happen. Renault wants to exit its electric car business. According to reports in the Japanese media, Nissan is considering entering the division and may take more than 15 percent of the shares.

UNION FOR CHANGE

The automotive industry is undergoing major changes, with companies investing billions in the development of electric vehicles. digital enhancement and get raw materials must be connected. Uchida said the talks with Renault were aimed at maintaining competitiveness during what he called the biggest change in a century. Experts see benefits for companies that share large costs with partners. Nissan is also running a series of events to prepare for the expected recession.

CONVERSATION ALSO WITH GEELY FROM CHINA

According to insiders, alongside talks with the Japanese, Renault has spoken to Chinese carmaker Geely about entering its business with combustion engines. The division includes Renault production sites in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Romania and South America. Uchida said he understands the changes at Renault and hopes that Nissan will be treated fairly as part of the new partnership. Transparency is very important for this. “We are discussing that openly,” he said. Geely did not mention Uchida by name.

(Reporting by Kevin Krolicki and David Dolan, writing by Anneli Palmen and Jan C. Schwartz, editing by Ralf Banser. If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at berlin.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com (for politics and economics) or frankfurt.newsroom @thomsonreuters.com (for companies and markets).)

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