PARIS - Nissan wants to take a reciprocal stake in Renault as soon as possible.
'Nissan should have the same participation in Renault's capital as Renault has in ours,' said Nissan President Yoshikazu Hanawa at Renault's annual shareholder meeting in Paris. Hanawa was appointed to the Renault board at the meeting.
Renault took a 36.8 percent stake in Nissan Motor Co. three months ago, paying around FF30 billion (euro 4.5 billion, $4.7 billion).
Renault Chairman Louis Schweitzer said that the idea of a reciprocal Nissan stake in Renault was discussed last autumn.
'Until now, no decisions have been made about the schedule and the investment size for a possible Nissan stake in Renault,' said Schweitzer. 'The question about whether the French state might dispose of all or part of its present stake (in Renault's capital) is not an issue at the moment.'
Developments in the Renault/ Nissan alliance will accelerate in the next few weeks. Carlos Ghosn, Renault's executive vice president in charge of manufacturing, enginering and purchasing, will become No. 2 at Nissan. He will be appointed chief operating officer during Nissan's annual shareholder meeting in Tokyo on 25 June.
Further changes in both companies' senior management teams are being made to strengthen ties. Tsutomo Sawada, 61, presently Nissan's executive vice president for product planning, research and development, will join Renault's management committee on 1 July. He will become an adviser to Schweitzer.
Corporate Planning Director Yataka Suzuki, who was Nissan's main negotiator during the alliance talks, will come to Renault's headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris to manage the alliance coordination office. He will report to Georges Douin, Renault's executive vice president in charge of product planning and international operations.
The coordination office, based in both Paris and Tokyo, is supervising the work of 11 cross-company teams which are in charge of implementing the alliance.
These teams report to a Global Alliance Committee which has 12 members, six from Nissan and six from Renault (see chart).
The Nissan group includes Ghosn and Patrick Pelata, the new head of product planning at Nissan. Pelata was formerly Renault's senior vice president of vehicle development.