Despite proposed governance changes and growing tensions, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa is willing to extend Renault an olive branch in order to fix their relationship.
During an interview with the Financial Times, Saikawa said that Nissan must “make our peace” with Renault and that the two automotive giants need to “stabilize and reinforce” their partnership. “This is the most important thing,” he added.
Insiders have already noted a “marked deterioration” in the day-to-day functioning and co-operation of the alliance, citing sources from both automakers. Meanwhile, Saikawa stated that the recent trouble had also affected staff across the group.
Whether this recent truce will hold remains to be seen, considering that it was Saikawa himself who criticized Renault’s plan to block Nissan’s board reforms, reports Autonews Europe.
Yet, during the previously-mentioned interview, the Nissan CEO described the alliance between his company and Renault as a “cradle” for co-operation and value creation. “I am quite convinced we need to work it out, and we will,” he added.
It’s been reported that Nissan’s reluctance to endorse the Renault-FCA alliance was partially to blame for its failure, which is why Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard may have sent a letter threatening to block Nissan’s plans to overhaul its governance structure.
“Overall it is a mess, and just makes a tricky situation worse,” said Janet Lewis, an analyst with Macquarie Capital in Tokyo. “Senard’s threat to abstain on the corporate governance reform is very negative for the alliance.”
According to a person familiar with the matter, Senard’s letter to Nissan stated that Renault wants better representation within the former’s plan to set up three committees on nominations, remuneration and auditing. However, this so-called three board level system “should not serve as a tool directed or used against Nissan’s largest shareholder,” said the letter.
Nissan shareholders are to meet on June 25 to vote on the structure.