The Renaulution will take place, but at what cost? While Renault should detail the plans of its “Ampère” entity devoted to its electric vehicles, discussions with Nissan are getting worse. In any case, this is what several sources familiar with the matter indicate to Reuters.
In question, Nissan’s level of involvement in the French project and the gradual reduction of French participation in the Japanese group. Renault could indeed reduce this stake from 43% to 15%. According to two sources, the manufacturers should make an announcement on November 15.
Nissan Technology Sharing
At the heart of the negotiations, Nissan’s technological know-how. No question for the Japanese to share its technologies at a lower cost. This is all the more true as the Japanese have long been perceived as the dominated in the Renault-Nissan association.
“What matters is what Nissan will bring in IP, engineers and joint projectssays one of the Reuters sources. As always in the industry, it’s what you really do in the real world that counts. The alliance can move and rebuild itself if it is not only financial”.
So, according to Bloomberg, Nissan would be ready to invest between 500 and 750 million dollars i.e. a participation of 15%. But there is no guarantee since the final valuation of the “Ampère” entity will not be known until next year, when it is listed on the stock market.
In all cases, “Nissan does not have an absolute need to participate” says one of the Reuters sources, which puts him in a strong position in the negotiations.
Politicians get involved
If this file is so sensitive, it is also because it takes political turns. The French State, Renault’s main shareholder, obviously supports the ongoing discussions. But on condition that it benefits the French manufacturer.
In an interview with Les Echos on the eve of the Paris Motor Show, Emmanuel Macron recalled that the State supported the discussions provided they help “to the strengthening and development of the future strategy of the group (Renault) and of the alliance”.
Two days later, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, also went there with his statements and explained that he was waiting for guarantees on the maintenance of joint industrial and technological projects. And to Alexis Zajdenweber, Director General of the State Participation Agency (APE), to add:
The State will support any movement or development that would strengthen Renault, its development and possibly give new impetus to the alliance.
This insistence inevitably reached the ears of the Japanese Minister of Economy and Trade. One of the sources indicates that he would have contacted Nissan to question it on the file.
For Renault, time is running out. Jostled by its competitors in the electric market, it expects a lot from discussions with Nissan. Especially since the involvement of Mitsubishi, another partner of Renault and Nissan, will depend on the decision of the Japanese.
A spokesperson for the alliance’s third partner told Reuters that “MMC has not yet started detailed work on its investment at this stage” in Renault’s “Ampère” project. But “If MMC invests in Renault’s new electric vehicle entity, it will only be a stake of a few percent (…) in order to maintain a good alliance” provides another source. Vibe.