Car giants Nissan, Renault in talks to merge fully (Update)

Carlos Ghosn oversees both today
Carlos Ghosn oversees both today

UPDATE Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive of the Renault-Nissan alliance, said he is open to a merger of the two companies—something he has long opposed—but added that there may be other alternatives once he eventually retires.

“I’ve been opposed [to a merger] for a very long time because I’ve seen how much damage mergers have done into the industry," he said, citing the example of the merger between Daimler, Chrysler and Mitsubishi Motors two decades ago that ultimately dissolved.

“But at the same time I have to take in consideration the concerns of the stakeholders," Mr. Ghosn said at The Wall Street Journal’s D.Live conference in Hong Kong Friday.

03/30/18 Japanese automaker Nissan and French automaker Renault are reportedly weighing a deal to fully merge after years of close cooperation and ownership ties.

A deal to combine Nissan and Renault would come as their ongoing collaboration on vehicle development and manufacturing has turned into one of the most powerful automotive alliances in the world. Bloomberg on Thursday reported the discussions after months of rumors.

Renault owns about 43 per cent of Nissan, which owns about 15 per cent of Renault. They also work closely together and share oversight under chairman Carlos Ghosn.

A spokesman for the Renault-Nissan alliance said the group doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.

Complicating matters is the French government's 15 per cent ownership stake in Renault, which would require political approval for a deal to occur.

It's not clear how the deal would affect the third player in the global alliance, Japanese automaker Mitsubishi. But the alliance bragged that it collectively sold more vehicles than any other automaker in 2017.

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