The Philippine Star

Re­nault ousts CEO in drive to re­boot Nis­san al­liance

- Business · Nissan Motor Company · Paris · Bolloré Group · Tokyo · Michelin · Renault Co · Carlos Ghosn

PARIS (Reuters) — Re­nault ousted chief ex­ec­u­tive Thierry Bol­lore on Fri­day, as the French car­maker and its Ja­pa­nese part­ner Nis­san seek to rekin­dle their al­liance fol­low­ing the scan­dal-hit ten­ure of former al­liance supremo Car­los Ghosn.

Ten­sions be­tween Re­nault and Nis­san, which picked a new CEO on Tues­day, have been high since Ghosn’s ar­rest in Tokyo last year on al­le­ga­tions of fi­nan­cial mis­con­duct, which he de­nies.

Bol­lore, who was close to Ghosn and had strained re­la­tions with Nis­san’s pre­vi­ous boss, will be re­placed on an in­terim ba­sis by Re­nault fi­nance di­rec­tor Clotilde Del­bos.

With new faces at the helm, Re­nault chair­man Jean-Do­minique Se­nard is hop­ing to draw a line un­der al­most a year of tur­moil and re­vive co­op­er­a­tion be­tween two car­mak­ers once seen as des­tined to fully merge.

That is vi­tal at a time when auto mar­kets are slow­ing and car­mak­ers are hav­ing to in­vest in costly new tech­nolo­gies as well as meet chal­leng­ing Euro­pean emis­sions reg­u­la­tions.

“We’re at a new stage now for this al­liance. Some­times you need new man­age­ment... to breathe new life into things,” Se­nard, who was brought in ear­lier this year from tire maker Miche­lin, told a news con­fer­ence in Paris.

He said three mem­bers of Re­nault’s 18-strong board ab­stained in the vote to re­move Bol­lore, who hit out at his loom­ing dis­missal in a news­pa­per in­ter­view the night be­fore, call­ing it a coup.

Fol­low­ing Ghosn’s ar­rest, a feel­ing of stag­na­tion around joint Re­nault-Nis­san projects, in­clud­ing on is­sues such as ad­vanc­ing on cost sav­ings, had be­gun to set in, peo­ple at Re­nault have said. These would now be the first pri­or­ity, ac­cord­ing to a source close to the car­maker.

“There are a lot of con­crete mat­ters that have al­ready been iden­ti­fied, in­clud­ing on the in­dus­trial front: work­ing on bat­ter­ies, elec­tric ve­hi­cles, con­nec­tiv­ity, pur­chas­ing and self-driv­ing cars,” the source said.

Shares in Re­nault closed up 5.1 per­cent.

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