By Laurence Frost and Norihiko Shirouzu
PARIS/BEIJING (Reuters) – Renault-Nissan executives will attempt this coming week to shield their joint operations from a looming power struggle between the carmakers, following alliance boss Carlos Ghosn’s shock arrest over misconduct allegations.
Top executives from both manufacturers and third partner Mitsubishi will attend mid-week operations committee meetings in Amsterdam that had been planned before Ghosn’s Nov. 19 detention in Japan, the companies confirmed.
“There is no change in our alliance relationship,” a Mitsubishi spokesman said.
While Nissan and 43.4 percent-owner Renault (PA:RENA) have vowed to safeguard the partnership, the Japanese carmaker’s Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa also made clear he wants to end its French parent’s control of the alliance, as he moved swiftly to oust Ghosn as chairman.
Ghosn, 64, and alleged co-conspirator Greg Kelly, a fellow Nissan director, both deny accusations that they under-reported Ghosn’s compensation, misrepresented Nissan investments and made personal use of company funds, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.