Nissan and Renault are drawing closer to a sweeping overhaul of their globe-spanning auto making alliance as senior executives convene on Thursday for talks to revive the two-decade-old partnership and chart a course for an uncertain electric future.
Leaders of Renault SA (RENA.PA) and Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) are meeting via video link for an alliance board meeting, sources previously told Reuters. They opted for that format – instead of having Renault CEO Luca de Meo and Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard travel to Japan – because the talks have been coming along well, the sources said.
Renault is seeking the Japanese automaker to invest in its new electric-vehicle business while Nissan needs Renault, its biggest shareholder, to sell down its almost 43% stake and put the 23-year alliance on a more equal footing.
The talks have been in progress for months and have focused specifically on issues such as the sharing of intellectual property. A formal announcement from the firms could come as early as Feb.1, Reuters has reported.
The future shape of the Franco-Japanese alliance has consequences for both firms together with their junior partner, Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T). It also underlines how the massive technological upheaval in the auto industry is pushing companies to both partner and compete with a large number of newcomers and tech firms.
Renault, for example, has said it will form partnerships with firms from China’s Geely Automobile Holdings (0175.HK) to semiconductor behemoth Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O).
Renault is separately working to close a deal with Geely and to bring Saudi Arabian state oil producer Aramco (2222.SE) in as an investor and partner to build gasoline engines and hybrid technologies, Reuters has reported.
Nissan has been worried that the technology it has developed while in partnership with Renault could be leaked to the French automaker’s partners as it restructures, Reuters has reported.