Motor Co. said Monday they were discussing ways to reinforce their partnership, including the possibility of an investment by Nissan in Renault’s new electric-vehicle unit.
The discussions over the possible Nissan investment are part of broader talks by the two auto makers over reorganizing their alliance, which dates back more than two decades, people with knowledge of the talks said last week.
Nissan is pressing Renault to sell a portion of its stake in the Japanese auto maker, currently 43%, in exchange for Nissan taking part in the new Renault unit that would house its EV assets, the people said.
The alliance has been under strain since the 2018 arrest in Japan of
who formerly led both Nissan and Renault.
Nissan—which has been mass-producing electric cars for more than a decade—is seen as holding the upper hand within the alliance when it comes to EV technology. Renault has asked Nissan to participate in its new EV and software-focused division, plans for which were unveiled earlier this year.
Nissan has long been irked by what it sees as its uneven relationship with Renault, under which the French car maker, despite being the smaller of the two companies, owns a controlling stake in Nissan. A partial sale of Renault’s stake would ease those tensions.
Renault shares rose more than 4% in Monday trading in Paris.
Top executives from Renault and Nissan have been shuttling back and forth between Japan and France recently to hash out the potential deal, some of the people with knowledge of the talks said. Renault Chief Executive
Luca de Meo
traveled to Japan over the weekend to carry forward those discussions and attend a racing event west of Tokyo.
Mr. De Meo plans to update investors about his strategy on Nov. 8, and may offer more details about the alliance deal, although there is no guarantee Nissan will make a decision about its role in Renault’s EV unit by then.
Nissan and Renault said Monday they were also discussing common initiatives across markets, products and technologies, which they said were part of efforts to reinforce the alliance’s future. They didn’t give details or timing.
Write to River Davis at [email protected]
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Appeared in the October 11, 2022, print edition as ‘Nissan in Negotiations to Invest In Ally Renault’s Electric-Car Unit.’