France’s Macron vows to maintain Renault-Nissan stability

November 19, 2018 14:18 CET

PARIS/BRUSSELS — France will work to preserve the stability of Renault and its alliance with Nissan, President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, after the Japanese automaker took steps to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial irregularities.

“It’s too early to comment on the reality or materiality of the accusations, about which I have no further information,” Macron told reporters in Brussels.

“As a shareholder, however, the French government will remain extremely vigilant regarding the stability of the alliance, the (Renault) group and … its employees, who have the full support of the state.”

Nissan said earlier on Monday that it planned to oust Ghosn after alleging he had made personal use of company assets and committed other unspecified acts of serious misconduct. Media reports said that Japanese prosecutors had arrested Ghosn for alleged violations of the country’s financial laws. Ghosn voluntarily went with Tokyo prosecutors, the Asahi newspaper reported.

The French state owns 15 percent of Renault, which in turn holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan.

The Japanese automaker said that based on a whistleblower report, it had been investigating possible improper practices by Ghosn and board member Greg Kelly for several months, and that it was fully cooperating with investigators.

Neither Ghosn nor Kelly could be reached for comment.

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