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Renault SA’s chief executive officer is fed up with the carmaker’s moribund business in China and willing to rip up the script the company and its alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. forged years ago to turn things around.

The French auto manufacturer and its Japanese counterpart adopted a "leader-follower” strategy in May 2020, where each company would occupy the driver’s seat in certain regions and the back seat in others. The goal was to revive cooperation and squeeze savings out of an alliance strained by the 2018 arrest of long-time leader Carlos Ghosn.

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