November 29, 2019 / 7:35 AM / 9 days ago

Renault-Nissan to reboot alliance with new overseer

PARIS (Reuters) - Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to appoint a general secretary at the helm of their partnership to boost cooperation and reboot joint operations after the departure of former alliance supremo Carlos Ghosn.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is seen ahead of a Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi chiefs' joint news conference in Yokohama, Japan, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

France’s Renault is trying to repair relations with its Japanese partners after they were shaken by Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo a year ago on financial misconduct charges, which the alliance’s founder denies.

The scandal disrupted efforts to roll out industrial projects together and find cost savings - increasingly vital as global auto demand falters - as Renault and Nissan shook up their teams in an effort to stabilize their business.

“This alliance executive will be key for coordinating and facilitating several major alliance projects that are to be launched to accelerate business efficiencies for the respective companies,” the groups said in a joint statement.

A source close to Renault said the future general secretary had already been recruited, describing him as francophone, but declined to give more details.

The new head of the three-pronged partnership will report to the Alliance Operating Board and the group CEOs in a departure from the structure in which Ghosn was an all-powerful figure.

Set up in April, the new Alliance Operating Board is a key element of a revamped corporate governance structure set in motion by Renault and alliance president Jean-Dominique Senard, who arrived at the French carmaker in January.

The Alliance Operating Board alternates its monthly meetings between France and Japan.

A source at Renault said that a future common platform for electric vehicles will be one of the alliance board’s key targets.

Renault is also looking for a new chief executive. Financial chief Clotilde Delbos has taken on the job on an interim basis.

Reporting by GV De Clercq and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Sarah White and David Goodman

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