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Revealed: Real Reason Why Nissan Is In Continuous Talks with Renault

Nissan Chief Executive Makoto Uchida, who has been talking with Renault CEO Luca de Meo every weekend, has revealed that the talks would be “ongoing for the future.”

As reported by Reuters, the Japanese automaker has been talking with Renault SA towards revamping their alliance, strengthening competitiveness as equal partners and getting the most from their investment in electric cars.

The negotiations with Renault, Nissan’s top shareholder, have less than two weeks remaining to meet a Nov. 15 target the companies had set to reach a deal, according to people with knowledge of the talks.

While the Nissan boss declined to comment on whether an agreement could be reached this month, people familiar with the negotiations have said the sharing of technology had emerged as one sticking point.

Uchida, who has spent much of his Nissan career in positions related to the Franco-Japanese alliance, emphasised that the talks were based on mutual trust. Each company had valuable technology and discussions of technology transfers were to be expected, he added.

He said the goal was to improve the automakers’ ability to compete at a time of economic uncertainty and as the industry pushes toward what he described as its biggest transformation in a century with the shift to electric vehicles.

“The discussion we are having is about how to make our competitiveness even stronger,” Uchida said in an interview with Reuters on Friday. “That’s number one.”

His comments were his first to media since the automakers last month said they were discussing the future of their alliance. The partnership, which began with a 1999 investment from Renault and was long overseen by former executive-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn, was critical to turning around the Japanese automaker.

But Nissan executives have over the years bristled over the unequal ownership structure, with Renault owning 43% of Nissan and the Japanese automaker holding only a 15% non-voting stake in Renault.

People with knowledge of the talks have said the two sides have been discussing a reduction in Renault’s stake, potentially to 15%, and the terms under which that could happen.

“We want it to be an equal partnership,” Uchida said, adding that an “equal partnership would make sense and that would speed up the collaboration even more.”

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