Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announces general secretary
04 December 2019
4 December 2019
Renault and Nissan have promoted Hadi Zablit to the new position of general secretary for the carmaker’s alliance.
The two carmakers, together with third alliance partner Mitsubishi, announced plans to install someone to oversee the group earlier this week, to accelerate business efficiencies across the companies and bring further stability to the collaboration. The alliance has been strained since the arrest of former leader Carlos Ghosn last year.
Zablit is currently head of business development at the alliance and will take up his new post next week. He will be responsible for overseeing several upcoming projects, details of which the three companies will announce in the coming weeks, according to a statement.
Zablit’s position is the first executive role announced by the alliance in the past year since the arrest of Ghosn in November 2018. Since then, some positions that focus on joint tasks, including communications, have stopped operating. Both Renault and Nissan have also undergone management shake-ups, with the Japanese carmaker appointing Makoto Uchida as CEO. Renault has Clotilde Delbos in an interim position while it looks for a replacement for recently ousted CEO Thierry Bolloré.
Meanwhile, Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has told the Financial Times that a merger with Nissan is not the ′ultimate step’ for the alliance.
It is believed that the catalyst for the reporting of financial misconduct that led to the removal of Ghosn was his desire to merge the two carmakers. Senard’s confirmed that a merger was discussed in February this year, but these talks did not continue, as it was seen in Japan as a threat to Nissan’s independence and pride.
′A merger is probably not the right way to think about it,’ he told the newspaper. He added that ′convergence’ between the two carmakers was ′absolutely essential,’ but that a full combination ′probably isn’t the ultimate step’ over the medium term.
The Renault chairman stressed that his immediate focus was to prove that the 20-year old alliance with Nissan could deliver ′tangible proof’ of its worth, with plans to launch more joint projects to foster collaboration that has been lacking.
His comments mirror those of Uchida, who stated in his first press conference since taking the reins at Nissan that he was concentrating on rebuilding the alliance, rather than trying to sort out the complicated share structure between the two carmakers.
Renault holds a 43% voting stake in Nissan while the Japanese partner holds a 15% stake in the French group with no voting rights; an imbalance that stems from the French company’s rescue of its Japanese counterpart from bankruptcy in 1999.