It’s finally happening.
One of the worst-kept secrets in the auto industry is that Nissan executives are less than happy with the Renault alliance. For years, the Japanese automaker has sought ways to get out from under the thumb of the French company, for example when Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan, only for Renault to outmaneuver them. It looks like this time Nissan has found its ace in the hole.
See the horrific aftermath of a high-speed Maserati crash here.
The secret formula to success, if one is to believe a recent report, is investing in electric cars. Yes, that’s right, the market segment Nissan famously helped pioneer well over a decade ago with the Leaf EV is to be the company’s savior from choking French influence.
Reportedly, Nissan is about to sign on for investing $500 million to $750 million in Renault’s EV venture as the French enter a reorganization phase. In return, Renault is supposedly willing to step down its 43 percent ownership of Nissan to just 15 percent over an unspecified time period. Of course, all this information can’t be confirmed and was given by an anonymous source, so we’d advise taking it with a grain of salt until something official is released.
Still, it’s intriguing to think about what might be if Nissan can finally shrug off the heavy-handed control Renault has exercised through the alliance. Sure, the Japanese automaker was in financial straits and was grateful for the rescue, but over time the arrangement has chafed a little too much, thanks in no small part to Ghosn.
It’s quite likely the French government will have to sign off on a final agreement. After all, it owns a chunk of Renault just like it does Peugeot. Officials had to give the final okay to the formation of Stellantis, which incorporates Peugeot, Fiat, and Chrysler as one huge international automaker. Considering how in love the French are with EVs, the chance to possibly see Renault return to the forefront of that market segment might be tempting enough to finally let go of Nissan.
Source: The Detroit News