We can only imagine how busy things have been at the world's number one automotive alliance comprised of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, but for all the wrong reasons.
Last November 19, Carlos Ghosn, the executive who was instrumental in bringing together the three automakers, was arrested in Japan after Nissan had informed Japanese authorities over irregularities pertaining to the executive's evasion of taxes. The strongly-worded speech by none other than Nissan's CEO, Hiroto Saikawa, against his now-former boss prompted worry that the alliance would crumble with Ghosn gone.
After a series of meetings and official announcements from each of the three members of the auto industry's biggest triumvirate, there comes a joint statement: the alliance will hold.
Despite the issues surrounding Ghosn and his subsequent ousting as Chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi, as well as the nomination of Renault's chief operating officer to temporary chief executive officer, all three companies announced that they would stay together.
Over the past few days, the Board of Directors of Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation have all – individually and collectively - emphatically reiterated their strong commitment to the Alliance.
The Alliance has achieved unparalleled success in the past two decades.
We remain fully committed to the Alliance.
The Ghosn crisis is arguably the single largest threat to the Alliance since its inception in 1999 as the Renault-Nissan Alliance. In 2016, Nissan acquired a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors following a scandal over fuel economy numbers. The acquisition brought the embattled automaker into the fold, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was born.
Beyond platform sharing, the Alliance has been a benefit to all three parties, as it affords them the stronger purchasing power of an entity that sells 11 million cars, as opposed to individual companies that sell a fraction of that. The synergies also pursued cost savings by shared facilities, storage, and logistics. The Alliance had turned around Nissan in the 2000's, and a revamp had allowed Mitsubishi to bounce back as well.
Earlier this year, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance emerged as number one with 10.6 million units sold in 2017, exceeding that of the Volkswagen Group.