Nissan Motor Co. has been mostly preoccupied with a management overhaul and infighting with alliance partner Renault SA since the arrest of former boss Carlos Ghosn a year ago, making only limited progress in fixing its battered earnings.

But analysts agree that the automaker needs to strengthen its alliance with Renault to remain competitive in the global auto industry, where the focus is shifting to autonomous, connected and electric vehicles.

Nissan needs combined efforts with the French partner to cut costs and share the investment burden in developing next-generation vehicles while it shores up its business, particularly in the United States. In the U.S. market, it has relied heavily on incentives to sell cars, denting profitability and hurting brand perception.