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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Worst of Nissan crisis is over, Renault CEO says

Thierry Bollore mends fences and rejects possibility of Ghosn's return

Renault CEO Thierry Bollore at the Geneva International Motor Show with the fifth-generation Clio, which uses technology developed with alliance member Nissan Motor despite recent tensions.   © Reuters

GENEVA -- Renault's fractured ties with Japanese alliance member Nissan Motor are back on the right track now that "the peak of the crisis has passed," CEO Thierry Bollore said here Tuesday as the automakers move to defuse a power struggle set in motion by the arrest of former leader Carlos Ghosn.

"We are very intertwined in terms of the operation," Bollore told reporters at the Geneva International Motor Show. "We have common interests, which are massive and major. That's the fruit of 20 years of history."

Since Ghosn's arrest in November, the two automakers have been at odds over who will fill Nissan's vacant chairmanship and their capital relationship.

Bollore cited "my experience in Asia, including in Japan" as helpful in improving ties with Nissan.

The global auto industry faces such uncertainties as Brexit and China's fading economic momentum. In this environment, Nissan and Renault will put high-tension issues like their capital relationship aside to focus on reaping benefits from the alliance.

Bollore dismissed any chance of a return to management by Ghosn, whom a Japanese court has decided to free on bail.

"The pages are turned," he said. "[New Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique] Senard is in his position. I'm in my position. Mr. Ghosn is occupied with his defense."

Bollore also denied that the three-way alliance, which includes Mitsubishi Motors, halted collaboration after Ghosn's arrest. He offered Tuesday's unveiling of the next-generation Renault Clio passenger car as evidence, citing its platform shared with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.

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