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)
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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.”


Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

Updated 04 August 2020

Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

  • Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations

OAKLAND, California: Alphabet’s Google Cloud unit is poised for a surge in fourth-quarter sales from US retailers, as they brace for record online shopping during the holidays because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations. As fees are often pegged to site traffic, a jump in activity will drive up revenue for the unit.
Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer at Google Cloud, said that her team had this year tossed out its linear growth model to predict how many servers it will need to process web orders for retailers around Black Friday.
“We’re planning for peak on top of peak,” she said on Monday. That could be a boon for Google Cloud, which has generated about 30 percent of its revenue during the fourth quarter the last two years.
Stores such as Kohls Corp. and Wayfair Inc. lean on Google months in advance to ensure it has enough servers to withstand increased shopping during holiday discount days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November and December.
This year, Black Friday-style demand has flooded shops since March, when the United States began lockdowns, Tharp said.
Holiday shopping is expected to boost demand further, as retailers including Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. have said they will reduce in-store hours because of coronavirus concerns.
Tharp said the pandemic has already benefitted Google Cloud, with some retailers adopting its predictive algorithms years ahead of plan to help them work out the most efficient way of fulfilling orders.
Electronics retailer Best Buy Co., for instance, announced on Tuesday a multi-year deal to centralize customer and product data with Google Cloud to improve its loyalty program and online ad campaigns.
The companies declined to elaborate on the deal, but Tharp said she hopes it leads to Google eventually powering Best Buy’s web ordering system.