PARIS -- Renault and its alliance partner Nissan have the resources to weather the coronavirus crisis and will roll out strategic plans as scheduled in mid-May, the automakers’ top executives said.
Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the three-year strategic plans for the automakers and alliance member Mitsubishi were needed to restore investors’ confidence.
Renault and Nissan have seen their sales fall and profits evaporate in the 18 months since the November 2018 arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who had led the alliance as chairman and was also serving as chairman and CEO at Renault.
"If the plan is not well explained and understood, then the share price is not going to recover and people will not believe that Nissan can get back on its feet," Uchida said in the interview.
Since the beginning of the year, Renault's share price has fallen by 58 percent while Nissan's has fallen by 46 percent.
"The situation is quite clear: We can’t generate income because we can't sell,” Senard said, as showrooms remained closed because of coronavirus restrictions.
The two automakers, which have also been forced to temporarily close a large part of their production sites, are considering shutting down activities and products that have little chance of becoming profitable, the Wall Street Journal said.
Renault and Nissan announced a realignment of alliance functions in January. Research and engineering work will be divided to avoid duplication, and plans to increase shared parts and body components will be accelerated. But the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted those plans for a fresh start.