Renault-Nissan alliance focus of Macron-Abe G20 talks

Both companies are under pressure to find a rapprochement.

    The French state has a 15 percent share in Renault [File: Etienne Laurent/Pool/Reuters]
    The French state has a 15 percent share in Renault [File: Etienne Laurent/Pool/Reuters]

    French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the alliance between car manufacturers Renault and Nissan with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week, an official at Macron's office in Elysee, France revealed on Wednesday.

    "There will certainly be a discussion during the meeting with Prime Minister Abe about questions regarding the relationship between Renault and Nissan," said the official. Macron will be in Japan for the G20 summit in Osaka.

    "It will be an opportunity for the president to reaffirm the strong attachment France has regarding the Renault-Nissan alliance, an attachment that was again emphasised during the recent talks that took place with Fiat." 

    The French state has a 15 percent stake in Renault, and French ministers have consistently highlighted the importance of ensuring the Renault-Nissan alliance remains strong, before planning any further consolidation with the likes of Fiat-Chrysler.

    Macron is not expected to be discussing the potential Fiat merger with Abe.

    The 20-year strategic alliance between Renault and Nissan has been in trouble in recent weeks. Each company has shares in the other, and over the years they have cooperated to achieve economies of scale, such as in sharing car-sales showrooms.

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    Nissan had said it would abstain from voting as a shareholder on the potential Renault-Fiat merger - which was just one of the obstacles to completing that deal - before Renault said it would block Nissan's attempts to reorganise its governance structures in the wake of the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of both Nissan and Renault, who has been accused of violating Japanese financial laws.

    Both companies are under pressure to find a rapprochement. While they are not fully "merged", their shared factory floors employ more than 350,000 workers who build more than 10 million vehicles per year.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies