Nissan-Renault Rivalry Bursts Into the Open After Ghosn's Arrest

21 Novembre, 2018, 10:28 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Nissan Motor Co.’s head office in Yokohama

Renault's decision not to strip Ghosn of his duties puts it at odds with alliance partner Nissan - which Renault owns a stake in - and follows Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa saying he felt "despair, indignation and resentment" as Ghosn's alleged actions.

Ghosn and Kelly's current locations are not now known, but they can be held without charge for up to 23 days under Japanese law.

Neither of the detained men has had the opportunity to comment publicly on the allegations against them. Under Japanese law, the pair can be kept in custody for up to 23 days without charge.

Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault, a three-way alliance of carmakers, all led by Mr Ghosn, have all seen their share prices tumble. He'd championed a push for Nissan and Renault to solidify their two-decade-old relationship by merging, a union that would create a direct rival to Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. for the title of the world's largest automaker.

Bollore will be Renault's deputy CEO with Ghosn's powers.

At a news conference in Japan late on Monday, Saikawa outlined three broad categories of accusation against Ghosn: under-reporting of compensation; misrepresenting company investments; and making personal use of company assets.

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According to the Asahi newspaper, Ghosn's alleged shady dealings were outed by a person in Nissan's legal department, who is said to have received a plea deal from prosecutors. It may also bolster Chief Operating Officer Thierry Bollore's powers. However, the full scope of potential allegations is unclear. Nissan said it began an internal investigation after a whistleblower informed the company of potential wrongdoing.

Under government pressure, Ghosn, who is also Renault chairman and CEO, had agreed this year to explore a closer tie-up that would tap deeper synergies, safeguard French industrial interests and make the alliance "irreversible". France has examined Ghosn's local tax records and found "nothing particular", Le Maire added.

Through complex cross-shareholding arrangements, Renault owns 43 percent in Nissan, including voting rights, while Nissan owns a 15 percent non-voting stake in Renault.

While both Le Maire and his Japanese counterpart, Hiroshige Seko, reaffirmed their support for the alliance, the structure of the partnership between the two companies has been increasingly controversial in Japan as Nissan outgrows Renault in sales and profits.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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