Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault

The 20-year partnership between Nissan and Renault has been badly shaken by the Carlos Ghosn scandal. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 14 January 2020

Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault

  • Report: Nissan senior executives speeding up work on secret plans for a potential parting of ways with France’s Renault
  • ‘Nissan is in no way considering dissolving the alliance’

TOKYO: Japanese auto giant Nissan is “in no way” planning to end its partnership with Renault, the Japanese automaker insisted Tuesday after a report suggested a divorce was possible in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal.
Britain’s Financial Times, citing “several people with knowledge of the matter,” said Monday that said senior executives at the scandal-hit firm were speeding up work on secret plans for a potential parting of ways with France’s Renault.
But in a statement, Nissan firmly denied the claims. “Nissan is in no way considering dissolving the alliance,” the statement said.
“The alliance is the source of Nissan’s competitiveness,” the firm said, adding that it will look to continue delivering “win-win results for all member companies.”
The partnership, which also includes Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors, has been troubled since the shock arrest of its former chief Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct.
Ghosn, who last month jumped bail in Japan and fled to Lebanon, claims the charges against him were cooked up by disgruntled Nissan executives hoping to block his plans to more closely integrate the automaker with Renault.
In a news conference in Lebanon, he claimed the alliance was now on the rocks and directionless.
The alliance’s new chief, Jean-Dominique Senard, earlier hit back at the reports of a planned split, telling Belgian daily L’Echo the claims had “no connection to the current situation of the alliance.”
“The Renault-Nissan alliance is not dead! Soon we will show you why,” he said in an interview published Tuesday.
“I ask myself, where does this sort of information come from? I am not sure it comes from a place of goodwill,” Senard said.
Nissan fell nearly three percent Tuesday afternoon.
The 20-year partnership between Nissan and Renault, whose alliance is based on cross-shareholdings without a joint structure, has been badly shaken by the Ghosn scandal.
But Senard said the alliance was “nowhere near” the point of collapse and insisted its leaders were busy “recreating its original spirit” and planning future investments.
A source close to Nissan said that the leaks probably came from “a few disgruntled souls” inside the company who wanted to “vent their frustration,” adding that rebuilding trust between the two firms “will take time.”


Big oil feels the heat on climate as industry leader promises: ‘We will be different’

Updated 22 January 2020

Big oil feels the heat on climate as industry leader promises: ‘We will be different’

  • Trump singles out ‘prophets of doom’ for attack
  • Greenpeace told the Davos gathering that the world’s largest banks, funds and insurance companies had invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal

LONDON: Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg slammed inaction over climate change as the global oil industry found itself under intense scrutiny on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The teenage campaigner went head to head with US President Donald Trump, who dismissed climate “prophets of doom” in his speech.
She in turn shrugged off the US president’s pledge to join the economic forum’s initiative to plant 1 trillion trees to help capture carbon dioxide.
“Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough,” Thunberg said. “It cannot replace mitigation. We need to start listening to the science and treat this crisis with the importance it deserves,” the 17-year-old said.
The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum was dominated by the global threat posed by climate change and the carbon economy.
The environmental focus of Davos 2020 caps a year when carbon emissions from fossil fuels hit a record high, and the devastating effects of bushfires in Australia and other climate disasters dominated the news.
Oil company executives from the Gulf and elsewhere are in the spotlight at this year’s Davos meeting as they come under increased pressure to demonstrate how they are reducing their carbon footprint.
“We are not only fighting for our industry’s life but fighting for people to understand the things that we are doing,” said Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental, the US-based oil giant with extensive oil operations in the Gulf. “As an industry when we could be different — we will be different.”

‘Planting trees is good, but nowhere near enough,’ activist Greta Thunberg told Davos. (Shutterstock)

She said the company was getting close to being able to sequester significant volumes of CO2 in the US Permian Basin, the heartland of the American shale oil industry which is increasingly in competition with the conventional oil producers of the Arabian Gulf.
“The Permian Basin has the capacity to store 150 gigatons of CO2. That would be 28 years of emissions in the US. That’s the prize for us and that’s the opportunity. People say if you’re sequestering in an oil reservoir then you are producing more oil, but the reality is that it takes more CO2 to inject into a reservoir than the barrel of oil that it makes come out,” Hollub said.
The challenge Occidental and other oil companies face is to make investors understand what is happening in this area of carbon sequesteration, she added.
The investment community at Davos is also looking hard at the oil industry in the face of mounting investor concerns.
Greenpeace told the Davos gathering that the world’s largest banks, funds and insurance companies had invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal. It accused some of these groups of failing to live up to the World Economic Forum goal of “improving the state of the world.”