Renault Chair Jean-Dominique Senard stated Thursday there was a “real need” at the helm of the car manufacturer’s alliance with Nissan to make it a success, dismissing recommendations the two-decade alliance is likely to be on the rocks.
The Franco-Japanese alliance, long dogged by internal disputes, was thrown into turbulence by the November 2018 arrest in Tokyo of its creator and long-time boss Carlos Ghosn on allegations of financial crimes, which he denies.
Attempts to revive calm have recently been stopped by Ghosn’s dramatic flight from Japanese justice and a series of no-holds-barred allegations he has made from his fugato in Lebanon, including that he was the victim of a plan to oust him and that the alliance is now a “masquerade”.
Nissan has strenuously denied any suggestion of a plot, while both the Japanese agency and Renault have rubbished ideas their 20-year-old alliance is falling apart.
Senard, who used to run tyre manufacturer Michelin, has become the de facto senior figure in the alliance, although without the commander-in-chief aura Ghosn had, which had helped hold the alliance together.
Whereas that’s partly deliberate – as each party is eager to avoid one other Ghosn-style strongman and created a four-member operating board to oversee the partnership, for example – Senard must deliver on launching joint new initiatives.
Senard stated the alliance’s board would meet by the end of January to decide on industrial initiatives, that are moving into focus as management revamp strikes toward completion.
A new CEO began at Nissan in December, and Renault is in the midst of seeking a new CEO after removing Ghosn-ally Thierry Bollore in October.