Business / Corporate

Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance needs simpler decision-making, French automaker chief says

JIJI, Kyodo

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors need to streamline the alliance’s decision-making processes, Renault SA Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro.

The three automakers announced last week that they will establish a new management board consisting of their top leaders, including Senard, to decide alliance strategy.

According to a report posted online by Le Figaro on Sunday, Senard said he wants the board to be composed of people who have the power to make decisions at each company.

He also said the team around him is not working on boosting cross-shareholdings between Renault and Nissan Motor Co.

Senard denied speculation about a conspiracy by Nissan related to the arrest by Japanese authorities in November of then-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was also chairman and chief executive officer of Renault, for alleged financial misconduct.

Nissan has not shown any intention to withdraw from the alliance, Senard said.

Also Sunday, a Nissan committee tasked with improving the automaker’s governance said it will release a set of proposals March 27. The committee, formed after Ghosn’s arrest in November, said it will hold a news conference that day.

The proposals will likely include increasing the number of outside directors on Nissan’s board, according to people familiar with the panel’s discussions.

Based on the proposals, Nissan will speed up its process of forming a new management structure.

The news conference is expected to be attended by lawyer Seiichiro Nishioka, the co-chair of the panel, and Sadayuki Sakakibara, a former chairman of Keidanren, the nation’s top business lobby.

Nissan is considering naming Sakakibara as the chief of the board, sources familiar with the company’s reform have said.