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Riku Tanaka
January 14 13:56

Nissan plans to break off ties with Renault amid scandal following Japan escape of former alliance leader Carlos Ghosn

Nissan believes the French automaker is pulling the company back, Financial Times sources say.
Nissan’s leadership has accelerated the development of a secret plan to cut ties with the French automaker Renault amid a scandal involving the former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Carlos Ghosn. The Financial Times first reported on this, citing its sources. 
According to the publication, Nissan is going to stop cooperating with the French automaker in terms of automobile development and production, as well as reorganize its board. Nissan believes that the partnership with Renault has become "toxic" and is actively slowing down the company’s development.
The “break-up” is likely to force both automakers to seek new partners in an industry that has experienced declining sales and rising costs due to the steady development of electric vehicles, the newspaper notes.
FT believes that in the near future, the head of Renault Jean-Dominique Senard is to present several joint projects to show that the alliance between the companies can still exist. A source close to Nissan management has told the publication that Makoto Uchida, the company's new CEO, is working with Senard to launch these new projects.
Nissan and Renault have declined to comment on the matter.
Renault and Nissan merged into an alliance in 1999 and then, in 2016, the automaker Mitsubishi has joined the alliance as well.
In November of 2018, the head of the Alliance, Carlos Ghosn, was arrested based on allegations of fraud and falsifying income statements. In spring of 2019, Ghosn was released on bail of 1 billion yen (more than US$8 million), provided that he did not leave Japan.
Towards the end of December 2019, Carlos Ghosn fled from Japan to Lebanon, despite an injunction. “I didn’t escape because I was guilty. I escaped because I had zero chance of a fair trial,” Ghosn explained.