Nissan and Renault Start Bickering Over Nissan’s New Corporate Structure

The effects of Carlos Ghosn’s ousting and arrest are still being felt in the auto industry, and the former executive’s actions seem to have put a lot of strain on the partnership between Nissan and Renault.
Nissan growing upset with Renault 1 photo
Photo: Nissan
After the botched merger proposal submitted by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles two weeks ago signaled the firing of the first major salvo in what appears to turn into a war, Renault’s executives opened a new front by announcing their decision not to vote at Nissan’s ordinary general meeting of shareholders on matters pertaining the change in corporate structure for the Japanese.

Confirming earlier media reports, Nissan’s CEO Hiroto Saikawa said on Monday (June 10) that indeed Renault expressed its intention not to vote on taking Nissan from a “company with statutory auditors to a company with three statutory committees.”

These commissions are being set up to help avoid situations such as those created by Ghosn by handing control over nomination, compensation and audit to three distinct bodies. That, in essence, should take power from the hands of one man and avoid wrongdoings from occurring at the highest levels in the future.

Allegedly, Renault won’t have its say on the matter because the selection of the committee members does not reflect what the French want.

In the second statement in just as many weeks, Nissan CEO takes on the French, this time saying he “finds Renault’s new stance on this matter most regrettable.”

“Following extensive deliberation, the special committee delivered a series of recommendations. Based closely on these recommendations, Nissan’s board voted unanimously to strengthen corporate governance by transitioning from a company with statutory auditors to a company with three statutory committees,” said the CEO.

“This transition was discussed thoroughly by Nissan’s board and approved by all board members, including Renault’s own nominees. Nissan finds Renault’s new stance on this matter most regrettable, as such a stance runs counter to the company’s efforts to improve its corporate governance.”

In an attempt to calm things down, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Renault could be considering watering down its 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, will not push for a merger between the two and will do its best to reinforce the alliance.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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