Nissan Motor Co is committed to its auto making alliance with Renault SA but will not look to deepen its capital ties with the French automaker any time soon, its new CEO said on Monday.
Uchida became CEO of Nissan on Dec. 1, as the car maker tries to recover from a profit slump and draw a line under a year of turmoil after the Ghosn scandal. The ousted chairman is fighting financial misconduct charges in Japan. One of the new CEO’s big tasks is to salvage ties with Renault, which have deteriorated since Ghosn’s ouster as chairman of both companies.
Renault holds a 43.4% stake in Nissan after it saved the Japanese automaker from financial ruin two decades ago, and has pushed for the two companies to merge. In rejecting a notion of a merger with Renault, Uchida, 53, echoes his predecessor Hiroto Saikawa, who stepped down in September.
He added that the alliance must re-think how it can serve all of its three members, which also includes Mitsubishi Motors. “The alliance has to benefit each of its partners in terms of revenue and profit,” he said. “We need to re-evaluate what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the alliance in the past few years.” The CEO called for Nissan to set “challenging but achievable” targets.