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The Nikkei View

Nissan-Renault new chapter should be based on innovation, not scale

Days of 'Le Cost Cutter' and government intervention are over for auto partners

The challenge now for both companies is to redefine their alliance.   © Kyodo

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor and French counterpart Renault have finalized the framework for an agreement to change the structure of their partnership. Renault currently holds 43% of Nissan's shares, but with the new agreement each company will hold 15% of the other's shares. This will make the partnership more equal. We will pay close attention to the French-Japanese business alliance as it sets off on a new journey, navigating the rapidly changing auto market.

The alliance began in 1999. Nissan, mired in a financial crisis, asked Renault for a bailout, making it inevitable that Renault would take the lead in the partnership. However, after nearly a quarter century, Nissan has recovered -- in part because of the reforms implemented by former Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. There has been growing dissatisfaction within Nissan about the Renault-dominated structure.

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