Automakers Nissan and Renault announced a reworking of their ongoing partnership today, and leveling the field somewhat between the two automakers by evening out the voting stakes. Renault agreed to reduce its voting share in the company to 15 percent from 43.4 percent, and Nissan’s 15-percent stake is unchanged but gains voting rights. Mitsubishi even gets a little bit of attention.
The result of the rework is a large increase in the power of Nissan within the partnership, but the Japanese automaker didn’t require Renault to divest itself of the remaining 28.4-percent share. Instead, Renault will place it in a trust, and any profits resulting will still flow to the French company. Meanwhile, a separate agreement between Renault and the French government will restore voting rights to the latter; the French government holds a 15 percent stake in Renault alone. The final result is more balance within the endeavor.
Another aspect involves Ampere, the Renault Group’s EV and Software development subsidiary in Europe. Nissan has agreed to invest “up to” 15 percent in Ampere, and Renault-Nissan junior partner Mitsubishi Motors has signaled it would consider investing as well. Nissan and Mitsubishi also will “become customers” of the Renault Group’s Horse Project, which aims to scale up production and sales of low-emissions internal combustion engines and hybrid powertrains.
Both Nissan and Renault state they will continue to co-develop vehicles and vehicle systems for use by both automakers in several world markets. Renault suggested its newfound Mexico operations may open up more of the South American market, though they have no plans of entering the U.S.—save for the Alpine performance brand coming likely by the end of the decade.
The rebalancing of shares and voting rights reflects, to some degree, the resurgence of Nissan, which was floundering when Renault acquired its initial stake in 1999. Nissan’s financial reports from 2022 indicate strong profits and improving corporate health.
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