Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault said to be planning single board

TOKYO • Nissan Motor, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors plan to form a single board that will oversee their alliance's governance and operations, according to people familiar with the matter, as the automakers try to streamline their decision-making processes following the arrest of Carlos Ghosn.

The group will replace two separate Amsterdam-based alliance entities, Renault-Nissan and Nissan-Mitsubishi, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information has not been made public.

Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard will probably chair the new committee, one of the people said. Japan's Nikkei newspaper had earlier reported on the plans for the new structure.

Spokesmen for Nissan and Mitsubishi declined to comment on the reported plan, while representatives for France-based Renault could not be reached outside normal business hours.

Nissan's board plans to meet to discuss the matter as soon as today and an announcement could be made shortly after, the people said.

Ghosn, released last week from a Tokyo detention centre where he had been held for more than 100 days, wants to attend that meeting as a board member, a person with knowledge of his intentions said.

But the Japanese court did not give the green light. "Mr Ghosn requested to attend the board meeting, but the court did not approve his attendance," the Tokyo District Court said in a statement yesterday.

Under the terms of his release, the ousted Nissan chief is forbidden from contacting people who could be involved in his case, including Nissan executives likely to attend board meetings, such as CEO Hiroto Saikawa. Other conditions of Ghosn's bail include having to live in a residence monitored from outside by camera. He can only access a non-Internet connected computer at his lawyer's office.

The alliance plan is aimed at fostering more balanced decision-making represented by Mr Senard, Mr Saikawa and Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko.

The current structure is seen as outdated and obscure in its functions, with the carmakers' own investigations having found that former chairman Ghosn had funnelled money from the Dutch units. Ghosn has said the claims of improper payments were a "distortion of reality".

BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2019, with the headline 'Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault said to be planning single board'. Print Edition | Subscribe