TOKYO -- Those bracing for a potentially radical change in one of the world's largest carmaking alliances can rely on one thing: Its driving force staying put.
Carlos Ghosn, who built the three-way union of Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., said overseeing the group is a job he can keep adding value to and isn't looking to relinquish. Ghosn will further reduce his roles at the three individual companies once his contribution becomes "limited," the 64-year-old executive said in an interview in Yokohama, Japan.
"If there is one job for which I'm still having a strong contribution, it is chairman and CEO of the alliance," Ghosn said. "I have played a historic role in building this alliance and I have legitimacy in the three companies that allows me today to act in the way that maybe other people would not be able to."
The continuing presence of Ghosn is set to soothe any uncertainty created by the companies' plan to change the pact's structure, possibly through a merger. Ghosn gave up his role as CEO of Nissan last year and has said that he may step down as CEO of Renault before his four-year term ends in 2022, fueling speculation the alliance could lose its architect and main leader for the past two decades.
Shares of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have each declined over the past year amid intense competition and uncertainty about the alliance's future. Shares of Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG, which are almost neck-and-neck with the alliance in car sales, have gained.