Renault, Nissan to reboot alliance with 5 new joint projects

Renault and Nissan aim to revive 20 years of cooperation with various industrial projects as part of an agreement under which Renault will reduce its stake in its Japanese partner.

The two companies are expected to announce details of the deal on February 6 in London, sources said.

Renault, Nissan and junior partner Mitsubishi Motors have embarked on about five projects codenamed ‘Reloaded’, with others to follow, the sources said.

One is in India, where the two companies operate a factory outside Chennai that manufactures small cars, engines and gearboxes, and the other is a commercial vehicle joint effort. Other projects spur closer cooperation in Latin America.

Whether a deal has already been announced to produce the successor to the Nissan Micra at the Renault plant in France, or whether a contract to produce Mitsubishi Motors’ new ASX and Colt models at Renault plants in Spain and Turkey will be the focus of these five projects. It was not immediately clear whether it would be considered part.

Nissan also plans to invest in Renault’s carved-out electric car business Ampere, sources said.

Renault had proposed to cooperate on 10 to 15 projects, French newspaper Le Figaro report.

The desire to agree on a new common project prompted the two companies to see a common future as they needed to reunite their 23-year-old alliance after the arrest of former leader Carlos Ghosn in 2018. indicates that Ghosn openly considered merging the two companies before his shocking arrest.

The Alliance operates joint factories, purchases parts for various vehicles and develops common platforms to reduce costs and create one of the world’s largest automotive groups. However, the partnership was on the verge of falling apart due to complex organisations, cultural differences and setbacks.

Pierre-Yves Coumener, an analyst at Stifel and responsible for Renault’s buy ratings, said: “For example, Renault’s management will be able to move forward without being preoccupied with endless cross-border politics. is a concern for each partner.”

The redesigned partnership will allow CEO Luca de Meo to proceed with Renault’s complex split into five separate businesses, including Ampere.

Leaders from both companies met via video link on Thursday. A source close to the matter said the meeting ended “no problem” but that there were still details that needed to be worked out.

“As of today, we cannot say that we have reached an agreement,” the source said.

The source added that there are no major gaps between the two companies and that negotiations are unlikely to break down.

The boards of both companies will have to approve potential deals separately after Thursday’s meeting.

The future shape of the Alliance highlights how enormous technological upheavals in the automotive industry are forcing companies to partner and compete with new entrants and technology companies. Renault, for example, has said it will partner with companies from China’s Geely Automobile Holdings to semiconductor giant Qualcomm.

Renault has finalized a deal with Geely and is working separately to bring in Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil producer Aramco as an investor and partner to develop gasoline engines and hybrid technology.

Nissan is concerned that technology developed during its partnership with Renault could leak to its French automaker partners during the restructuring. One of his sources who spoke to Reuters on Thursday said those concerns are now being addressed.

The deal will see Renault gradually reduce its stake in Nissan from 43% to 15%, ending a unilateral capital relationship that has caused friction for years.

Renault has consistently refused to comment publicly on the negotiations.A Nissan spokesman declined to comment.

Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report

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