Nissan Execs Step Up Planning for Split from Renault: FT

Economy

London, Jan. 13 (Jiji Press)--Senior officials at Japan's Nissan Motor Co. <7201> have accelerated "secret contingency planning" for a potential split from its French partner, Renault SA, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The plans include war-gaming a total divide in engineering and manufacturing, and changes to Nissan's board, the British business daily quoted sources as saying. The plans have been ramped up since disgraced former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn's escape to Lebanon from Japan late last month, it said.

In the coming weeks, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard is due to unveil several projects designed to demonstrate that the Retault-Nissan alliance can still function, the FT said, adding that Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida, who assumed the positions in December, is working closely with Senard to launch the projects.

Even during Ghosn's tenure as Nissan leader, when the alliance was functioning more smoothly, discontent was growing among some Nissan engineers about his push to combine engineering and manufacturing, the paper quoted some people close to the Japanese firm as saying.

A full split would probably force both Nissan and Renault to seek new partners, the paper said.

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Jiji Press