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Japan Intervened to Stall Nissan-Renault Merger, Emails Show

  • Economy ministry wanted talks to ‘respect’ Nissan independence
  • Nissan executives worked behind the scenes with bureaucrats
Nissan Motor Oppama Plant As Former Chairman Carlos Ghosn Said Ready to Resign From Renault
Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg
Updated on

As then-Chairman Carlos Ghosn pushed to strengthen Nissan Motor Co.’s ties with partner Renault SA last year, officials at the Japanese company were working behind the scenes with government officials to defend Nissan’s independence, according to emails seen by Bloomberg.

The efforts by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to head off changes in the two-decade alliance show concern was mounting in top echelons of the Japanese government -- months before Ghosn’s arrest on allegations of financial wrongdoing -- that his push to cement a new alliance structure, would boost Renault and its largest shareholder, the French state, at Nissan’s expense.