Nissan has stepped up contingency planning for a possible split from Renault, according to the Financial Times, which cited people familiar with the matter.
The plans include Nissan going it alone in engineering and manufacturing, as well as changes to Nissan’s board, the paper reported on Sunday.
Nissan has accelerated the planning since its former Chairman Carlos Ghosn fled from Japan where he was on bail accused of financial crimes to his former childhood home of Lebanon, the paper reported.
Bloomberg also reported that Nissan executives have examined the possibility of breaking away from Renault amid concerns that relations with the longtime French partner have turned dysfunctional.
Since last year, Nissan has been exploring the pros and cons of sustaining the alliance, particularly when it comes to engineering and technology sharing, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Those studies predate Ghosn’s escape from Japan and were preliminary, so no decision has been made, the person said.
It’s unclear how feasible any separation would be given that Renault is Nissan’s biggest shareholder and the French partner has been pushing for a repair of ties.
Key to the partnership’s survival is reviving plans this year for new joint industrial projects, which sources said have stalled as the scandal engulfed the companies.