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Renault, Nissan Are Bickering Partners Who Need Each Other

  • Scale gives the two a chance to weather sweeping changes
  • Tensions burst into open following the arrest of Ghosn
File: Nissan’s Ghosn To Be Arrested On Suspected Financial Law Breach
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
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It was a lopsided union when Renault SA rescued Nissan Motor Co. in 1999. Today, it’s harder to tell which of the bickering common-law spouses needs the other more.

Tensions regarding the future of the carmakers’ partnership -- and whether it should become a full-fledged marriage -- burst into the open after their leader Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan on Monday. The chairman of the two companies had been preparing to push for a full merger and was facing resistance from factions within Nissan, including from his protege-turned-foil Hiroto Saikawa, who’s been chief executive officer since last year.