Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault

The 20-year partnership between Nissan and Renault has been badly shaken by the Carlos Ghosn scandal. (AFP)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault

  • Report: Nissan senior executives speeding up work on secret plans for a potential parting of ways with France’s Renault
  • ‘Nissan is in no way considering dissolving the alliance’

TOKYO: Japanese auto giant Nissan is “in no way” planning to end its partnership with Renault, the Japanese automaker insisted Tuesday after a report suggested a divorce was possible in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal.
Britain’s Financial Times, citing “several people with knowledge of the matter,” said Monday that said senior executives at the scandal-hit firm were speeding up work on secret plans for a potential parting of ways with France’s Renault.
But in a statement, Nissan firmly denied the claims. “Nissan is in no way considering dissolving the alliance,” the statement said.
“The alliance is the source of Nissan’s competitiveness,” the firm said, adding that it will look to continue delivering “win-win results for all member companies.”
The partnership, which also includes Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors, has been troubled since the shock arrest of its former chief Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct.
Ghosn, who last month jumped bail in Japan and fled to Lebanon, claims the charges against him were cooked up by disgruntled Nissan executives hoping to block his plans to more closely integrate the automaker with Renault.
In a news conference in Lebanon, he claimed the alliance was now on the rocks and directionless.
The alliance’s new chief, Jean-Dominique Senard, earlier hit back at the reports of a planned split, telling Belgian daily L’Echo the claims had “no connection to the current situation of the alliance.”
“The Renault-Nissan alliance is not dead! Soon we will show you why,” he said in an interview published Tuesday.
“I ask myself, where does this sort of information come from? I am not sure it comes from a place of goodwill,” Senard said.
Nissan fell nearly three percent Tuesday afternoon.
The 20-year partnership between Nissan and Renault, whose alliance is based on cross-shareholdings without a joint structure, has been badly shaken by the Ghosn scandal.
But Senard said the alliance was “nowhere near” the point of collapse and insisted its leaders were busy “recreating its original spirit” and planning future investments.
A source close to Nissan said that the leaks probably came from “a few disgruntled souls” inside the company who wanted to “vent their frustration,” adding that rebuilding trust between the two firms “will take time.”


At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

Updated 24 January 2020

At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

  • A single tree that to bear 40 different types of apple

DAVOS: The World Economic Forum is not all about the fourth industrial revolution or the rise of AI.

You can also find all manner of strange and intriguing products on display from biodegradable plastic made from algae to wallpaper made from recycled corn husks.

One stand titled “How do you design a tree?” is part of a conservation effort where a single tree is designed to bear 40 different types of apple.

Another stand displays colored seaweed on a rack, showing how clothes can be dyed in a sustainable, non-chemically corrosive manner.

Propped along a large wall is Fernando Laposse’s wallpaper made of variations of purple corn husks that are reinforced with recycled cardboard and cork to create wallpaper and furniture. The husks come from corn that needs very little water and can be grown in the desert, which makes it all the more sustainable.

“This initiative helps the local economy as it brings in jobs and a resurgence of crafts and food traditions while also ensuring sustainability,” Laposse said.

Another display shows a machine that extracts pellets from a mixture of algae and starch and is used to create a thread that is the base of 3D printing. These sustainable, biodegradable plastics made from algae are being experimented with in different regions.

With the rise of deep fakes — a branch of synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness — another stand delivers a warning on the looming dangers of unregulated software.

The Davos forum prides itself on its sustainability, and key topics have included climate, mobility, energy and the circular economy. Everything is recyclable, and participants must download an application in order to keep up with the program and any changes — a move to cut down on paper waste.