Renault-Nissan alliance reboot will start with 5 projects, report says


Renault and Nissan plan to rejuvenate their two-decades-old cooperation with a range of industrial projects alongside an impending agreement to rebalance capital ties to improve a partnership that has become tense.

The partners are set to work on five projects initially, people familiar with the situation said.

One of them involves India, where the companies operate a plant in Chennai making small cars, engines and gearboxes.

Investments in the two companies’ common platform in India would part of the wider deal, sources said. Another joint area would be work on commercial vehicles, sources said.

Renault had proposed working together on 10-15 projects, French newspaper Le Figaro reported.

The automakers aim to formally unveil a deal to reshape their alliance in London on Feb. 6, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.

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

The desire to agree on fresh common projects as part of the three-way pact, also including junior partner Mitsubishi Motors, signals the companies see a joint future for the 23-year-old alliance that had to be pieced together again after 2018’s arrest of former leader Carlos Ghosn.

Improving existing collaborations is crucial for both Nissan and Renault to keep up with competition from Tesla, Chinese automaker BYD and other new entrants.

The redesigned alliance will allow CEO de Meo to move on with a complex split of Renault in five separate businesses, including Ampere.

The future shape of the alliance highlights how the immense technological upheaval in the auto industry is forcing companies to both partner and compete with newcomers and tech companies.

Renault, for instance, has said it will partner with companies from China’s Geely Automobile Holdings to semiconductor giant Qualcomm

Renault is separately working to finalize a deal with Geely and to bring in Saudi Arabian state oil producer Aramco as an investor and partner to develop gasoline engines and hybrid technologies.

Nissan has been concerned that the technology it has developed while partnered with Renault could leak to the French automaker’s partners as it restructures.

Leaders of the two companies were meeting via video link for an alliance board meeting on Thursday. The boards of directors of the respective companies will have to approve the deal, which will see Renault reduce its stake in Nissan to 15 percent over time from 43 percent to eliminate lopsided capital ties that have been a source of friction for years.

Renault has consistently declined to comment publicly about the talks with its Japanese partner, while a spokesperson for Nissan declined to comment on Thursday.

Reuters contributed to this report

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