Bloomberg reported on Friday that Renault might consider lowering its Nissan shareholding as part of plans to separate its electric vehicle business. The French carmaker has been pushing ahead with plans to split its electric and combustion-engine businesses in an attempt to catch rivals such as Tesla and Volkswagen, Reuters reported.
Any plans would be subject to approval from alliance partner Nissan, Renault finance chief Thierry Pieton said, adding the Japanese automaker was “in the loop” as Renault weighed up its options.
Renault and Nissan have declined to comment on the report.
Shares of Nissan fell to 509.8 yen in Tokyo, marking their biggest one-day decline since early March and underperforming an almost 2% drop in the Nikkei index.
The carmakers’ two decade old alliance, which includes Mitsubishi Motors, was rocked by the 2018 ouster of alliance founder Carlos Ghosn amid a financial scandal. They have since pledged to pool more resources.
In January, they said they would work more closely together to make electric cars. They detailed a $26 billion investment plan for the next five years.
But their unequal relationship has long been a source of friction in Japan. Renault owns 43.4% of Nissan, which in turn has a 15% non-voting stake in its shareholder. Renault bailed out Nissan two decades ago, but is now the smaller automaker by sales.