Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. debate technology sharing as they negotiate an overhaul of their decades-old partnership, according to a Reuters article.
The French and Japanese automakers announced earlier this month that they were in talks about the future of their alliance. The negotiations, they said, included Nissan potentially investing in an electric vehicle (EV) business spun out of Renault.
The discussions included having Renault sell some of its roughly 43% stake in Nissan, which Reuters previously reported would put the pair on more equal footing and dramatically change the alliance founded in 1999.
Now the sharing of intellectual property has dominated negotiations, two sources told Reuters.
"What matters is what Nissan brings in intellectual property, engineers and common projects," one source said.
French dominance has long been a sticking point in the relationship. Nissan holds just 15% of Renault - and has no voting rights. Many Nissan execs see the relationship as unbalanced, especially regarding development.
Their concerns also center on sharing future technology, including the all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles in development, the second source said.
Renault is splitting off its EV business, code named "Ampere", from its legacy internal combustion engine unit, code named "Horse”.
France’s government also holds about 15% of Renault and desires to have the automaker hold onto its industrial and technical advantages, reported finance minister Bruno Le Maire has said.
Renault wants Nissan to invest in its EV unit, while Nissan wants Renault to cut its stake to 15%, Reuters reported.
The pair have not reached an agreement on investment, as it is difficult to determine figures without a clear valuation of the unit, three sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.
Given its investment needs, Renault is the more eager than Nissan to reach a deal, noted a person familiar with negotiations.
"There is no reason why Nissan has to absolutely participate" in the unit, the source said, citing Nissan's need to explain cost-effectiveness of investments to shareholders.
Though details need to be finalized, a process that could take weeks, the automakers aim to make an announcement on Nov. 15, one source said.
Another source noted that alliance junior partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will likely invest a few percent in the new Renault unit to retain its alliance relationship. Mitsubishi reports it has not yet entered detailed consideration about investment
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today
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