Last week, Nissan and Geely announced that they would be joining forces to tackle key markets in the Asian sector with an array of electrified products. It seems this news has brought Nissan to question its existing alliance with the French brand.
According to Automotive News Europe, based on a deal the two brands announced last year, the French automaker made the move to quit the passenger car market in China and handed operations over to its Japanese partner. Some 18 months later, Renault appears to show signs of regretting this decision.
After announcing its partnership with Geely, the existing Nissan and Mitsubishi partnership has become unclear. As per information sourced by the European publication, key people within the management ranks of Nissan said the brand still needs deeper discussions with Renault about the ramifications and possible benefits.
A Geely tie-up would provide benefits to Renault with regards to tackling several problems including both its lack of access to the Chinese market and unused capacity at its struggling South Korean operation under the Samsung moniker. However, the move raises questions about Renault’s intentions toward its 21-year alliance with the Japanese manufacturer, which has been on the downfall since the 2018 scandal surrounding former alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
“This looks like the beginning of an exit strategy,” said one former high-level Renault executive, speculating about a rebalancing of the alliance.
Now that it has paired up with Geely, Renault could miss out on many of the purchasing and product development synergies that currently form basis of the Renault-Nissan alliance. Currently, Nissan is a front-runner in the Chinese market which continues thanks to a successful tie-up with Dongfeng as its local partner.
Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida is apparently not bothered by the Geely announcement and does not see it affecting ties between Nissan and Renault. The two companies will continue with shared engineering for upcoming electric vehicles and are even finally using the same battery supplier, Envision AESC, for future EV products.