Renault-Nissan plans to reboot alliance with new overseer

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PARIS — Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to appoint a general secretary at the helm of their partnership to boost cooperation and reboot joint operations after the departure of former alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Renault is trying to repair relations with its Japanese partners after they were shaken by Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo a year ago on financial misconduct charges, which the alliance’s founder denies.

The scandal disrupted efforts to roll out industrial projects together and find cost savings — increasingly vital as global auto demand falters — as Renault and Nissan shuffled their executive teams in an effort to stabilize their businesses.

“This alliance executive will be key for coordinating and facilitating several major alliance projects that are to be launched to accelerate business efficiencies for the respective companies,” the groups said in a joint statement on Friday.

A source close to Renault said the future general secretary had already been recruited, describing him as French speaker, but the source declined to give more details.

The executive filling the role will be named “in the coming days,” the alliance said.

The new head of the partnership will report to the alliance’s operating board and the group CEOs in a departure from the structure in which Ghosn was an all-powerful figure.

Set up in April, the alliance operating board is a key element of a revamped corporate governance structure set in motion by Renault President Jean-Dominique Senard, who arrived at the French automaker in January. Senard is also president of the alliance.

The board alternates its monthly meetings between France and Japan.

A source at Renault said that creating a future common platform for electric vehicles would be one of the alliance board’s key targets.

Renault is also looking for a new CEO. Financial chief Clotilde Delbos has taken on the job on an interim basis.

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