Nissan's head of planning makes 'damn clear' statement that the Alliance is going nowhere, in a bid to assuage shareholders
The ongoing incarceration of former Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn in Japan over alleged financial impropriety will not unravel arrangements to share vehicle platforms and other capital costs.
That's the message from Nissan’s head of global planning, Phillippe Klein, speaking in Detroit this week with Automotive News. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite.
"I am going to be damn clear," Klein told the respected industry title when asked if Ghosn’s legal troubles risked unweaving the arrangements.
"What is taking place is not changing, is not challenging, is not questioning [the alliance]. There is frankly no willingness to change that,” was his emphatic answer.
Klein also apparently said the three brands recently met to establish a new level of shared product development on a range of global vehicles.
"All but one [Nissan due to launch in the next five years] will be heavily sharing platforms and components" with alliance partners, said Klein. "We are not changing our product planning process at all."
You can bet EVs are a major part of this, given Nissan’s leadership with the Leaf.
We also know the next Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara will be twins under the skin. Existing product like the Nissan Micra/Renault Clio, Nissan Qashqai/Renault Kadjar and Nissan X-Trail/Renault Koleos all share platforms. And that’s just scratching the surface.
The 20-year Franco-Japanese auto alliance (with Mitsubishi coming on board much later after its own financial woes) is the biggest of its type. It was started after Renault bailed out ailing Nissan at the end of the 20th century.
Renault has a controlling 43 per cent stake in Nissan. Nissan, the bigger partner, owns a smaller 15 per cent of Renault and has no voting rights in the former, though the actual Alliance board is 50:50. Nissan also has a controlling, 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi Motors.
The Alliance claims to have 450,000 staff, 122 factories and sold 10.61 million cars, light commercials and SUVs in 2017.