PARIS -- Renault and Nissan are rebalancing their troubled alliance in what could be a major step in reviving it. But for the French automaker the benefits of the revamp are for now unclear and potentially quite limited, three industry sources said.
The automakers on Monday announced a deal that will see Renault reduce its stake in Nissan to 15 percent from about 43 percent.
For Nissan, the advantages are clear: the Japanese carmaker gets more ability to do what it wants, and it is no longer in an alliance of unequal partners because capital ownership is rebalanced. However, its stock could be weighed down as the bulk of Renault's stake is sold off. The stake is worth 3.8 billion euros ($4.1 billion) and will be moved to a trust.
The deal also sees Nissan commit to invest in Renault's flagship Ampere electric vehicle unit, which was the French automaker's key goal.
But Nissan's participation in Ampere is fairly conditional, joint projects announced by the companies in Europe, Latin America and India at this stage are vague. Nissan is acquiring voting rights on its 15 percent stake in Renault -- something it didn't have before. This means Renault will have to share decision-making more.
Sources have told Reuters the alliance is considering around five common projects, a relatively small number compared to the list of 10 to 15 proposed last year by Renault CEO Luca de Meo to Nissan.