After Renault rescued Nissan in 1999 from looming bankruptcy, their alliance suffered up and downs over the years as rivalries and mutual suspicion led to increasing resentment at Nissan.
Renault has now agreed to lower its 43 percent holding in Nissan to 15 percent to put the partners on an equal footing.
Here is a timeline of key events in the alliance's history:
- 1996: Carlos Ghosn joins Renault as executive vice president after a successful career at Michelin. The next year, Ghosn unveils a cost-cutting plan. Renault's profitability jumps three-fold by the end of 1998.
- 1999: Renault rescues of debt-laden Nissan and Renault Chairman Louis Schweitzer sends Ghosn to Japan to revive the Japanese company. After cutting 21,000 jobs, or 14 percent of the workforce, shutting some plants and overhauling Nissan's corporate structure, Nissan hits its goals a year ahead of schedule. Ghosn becomes a business celebrity in Japan.
- 2000: Ghosn becomes Nissan CEO. By the end of 2000, Nissan is contributing roughly half of Renault's annual net profit.
- 2002: Nissan announces its Nissan 180 three-year plan, targeting an increase of 1 million vehicles in global sales by 2005.
- 2005: Nissan misses its sales target and announces a new three-year plan. Ghosn becomes CEO of Renault as well as Nissan.
- 2008: Nissan again fails to meet its main financial targets. The automaker announces another five-year plan but then scraps it due to the financial crisis.