Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) is pressing partner Renault SA (RENA.PA) to cut its stake in the Japanese automaker and revamp their more than 20-year-old alliance, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing people with knowledge of the talks.
French car firm Renault owns about 43% of Nissan, while the Japanese firm owns 15% of its top shareholder, but without voting rights.
In June, Nissan revealed for the first time some details of its alliance pact with top shareholder Renault that keep the latter from unilaterally increasing its stake beyond 44.4%.
Their talks cover the question of whether Nissan will join Renault’s new unit being set up to house its electric vehicle (EV) assets in exchange for its French ally winding down the Nissan stake, the paper said.
Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta was among the firm’s executives who visited France last month and discussed whether the Japanese car maker would invest in Renault’s new EV business, the paper added.
Renault is pushing ahead with plans to split its EV and combustion engine businesses in a bid to catch up with rivals such as Tesla (TSLA.O) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) in the race to cleaner driving.
It expects to unveil a detailed blueprint for the new EV entity this autumn.
Renault declined to comment on the report, while Nissan did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment outside normal working hours.