Two weeks ago, Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa said a merger with Renault wouldn’t make any sense. In fact, he said it would have “side effects”.
Renault-Nissan Alliance boss Carlos Ghosn seems to have a different opinion, though he stresses that such a merger most likely won’t happen before 2020.
Speaking at Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think summit in Paris, Ghosn entertained the idea but commented that it could bring with it certain challenges.
“Lots of mergers collapse and destroy value — the strength of any company is the ability to motivate people, and how are you going to do that if some of these people consider themselves second-class citizens,” Ghosn said.
Nevertheless, Ghosn believes it is one possibility to form deeper ties between the companies and ensure they remain successful moving forward.
“This is something on which we need to bring a solution, and we need a solution that is specific. Let’s try and find something that will reassure the stakeholders that this will continue, but at the same time maintain the identity [of each brand],” he said.
The lopsided alliance between Nissan and Renault sees the Japanese marque holding a 15 per cent stake of Renault and no voting rights. By comparison, Renault owns 43.4 per cent of Nissan and is able to vote on corporate matters. The French government also owns a 15.1 per cent stake in Renault.