Renault stocks hit six-year lows Monday as investors worried the French auto manufacturer’s 20-year cost-sharing partnership with Nissan is going for a break-up without Carlos Ghosn to carry it together.
Long-standing stresses in the Franco-Japanese alliance have been heightened since Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo in November 2018 on charges of financial wrongdoing, which he denies.
Following a dramatic flight from Japanese justice in December, Ghosn called the partnership a “masquerade” during a media briefing last week.
Another report came Monday that Nissan executives are making chance plans for a split with Renault appeared to accelerate a sell-off in the French carmaker’s shares.
Renault shares had been down 3.2%, the biggest faller on Paris’ CAC 40 index.
The shares have lost over a 3rd of their value since Ghosn’s arrest and his immediate withdrawal as chief of the alliance.
Ghosn’s assaults and the lack of confidence among traders have caught Renault and Nissan management in the middle of shifts to new chief executives.
The companies try to forge solutions to issues with their long-standing business and launch new joint industrial ventures, people accustomed to the situation said.
The alliance had further been strained last year by Renault’s failed attempt to unite with Fiat Chrysler. However, the roots of the tensions go back years.
A major sticking point since 2015 has been the equal distribution of costs for R&D into new technology and products.
Nissan has asked for an evaluation of the workloads and productivity of Renault and Nissan staff.