Renault and Nissan unravel their alliance

Renault employees have been called on to stop sharing their files and data with their colleagues at Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The Renault Nissan alliance ends on November 6. So from this date, no more communication with Nissan,” it is indicated in an internal email from the management of a department, which AFP was able to consult. Renault , Nissan and Mitsubishi “will now act independently and as competitors”, “no information can anymore be exchanged, with the exception of strictly regulated cases”, it is specified in another e-mail, from , he, from the training department of one of the Renault sites. This decision is part of the reorganization of the Renault-Nissan Alliance – to which Mitsubishi has belonged since 2016 – announced at the start of the year and intended to be less fusional and more egalitarian.

15% cross-ownership

Concretely, the companies have concluded a new 15-year agreement according to which they will have a “cross-shareholding of 15%”, whereas previously Renault held 43.4% of Nissan. They also announced the end of their joint purchasing center, a drastic change compared to its old version, where it occupied a fundamental place. According to a source close to the matter, who confirms the cessation of shared libraries and data between the two manufacturers, this step constitutes the logical continuation of the reduction of Renault’s participation in Nissan, as required by anti-trust laws. “We have always been competitors in the market, this word competition  is not new,” said the same source, tempering the emails. “We are heading towards a new chapter in the alliance, but which does not have the same form,” she added, rejecting the term “divorce” brandished by worried unions.

Divorce recorded

“We’re not going to hide it, this is a divorce that’s been recorded, it’s an open secret,” Fabien Gloaguen, FO union representative for Renault in Sandouville, told AFP. “We are not here to judge Renault’s strategy,” he added, but the evolution of the alliance “lacks clarity”. The trade unionist is particularly worried about the “uncertainty” which hovers around the future of the 1,400 employees working at the joint purchasing center or in the French Renault factories producing Nissan cars in particular, such as in Maubeuge, Batilly or even Sandouville. Contacted by AFP, the group indicated that no employee of the purchasing center would be made redundant and that “the reorganization is underway”. He reaffirmed that the vehicles whose construction Nissan has entrusted to Renault will continue to be manufactured in its French factories, and that the manufacturers will continue to exchange data on their joint projects.