Macron says France wants to keep Renault-Nissan 'balance'

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 28 2019 09:27 AM

CAIRO -- President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that France wanted to maintain a "balance" in the alliance between automakers Renault and Nissan following the arrest in Japan of Carlos Ghosn.

"We are being vigilant to ensure the balances of the alliance are preserved," Macron said at a news conference on the first day of a visit to Egypt.

"I don't believe at all that what is happening, which is an individual case, is likely to reverse the balance of the alliance", which had shown "stability," the French president added.

Renault currently owns 43 percent of Japanese automaker Nissan, which itself has a 15 percent stake in the French company and 34 percent of Mitsubishi.

An overhaul of the group following the arrest in November of its chief executive Ghosn in Japan, on charges of under-reporting his income, could harm Renault's influence.

Macron said he had discussed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the situation surrounding the arrest of the Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese executive.

"I was simply concerned that the fate of a French compatriot respects the minimum decency that we are entitled to expect," he said.

Macron said he had told Abe on several occasions that he thought Ghosn's time in detention to be "very long" and described the conditions he was being held in as "harsh".

Two months after Ghosn's arrest, Renault appointed two experienced auto executives to replace the 64-year-old: Thierry Bollore as chief executive and Jean-Dominique Senard as chairman.

© Agence France-Presse