Renault-Nissan to Name Alliance Chief

Bill Hampton

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors say they will install a general secretary to oversee and coordinate the activities of their 20-year-old alliance.

The newly created position will be filled in the next several weeks. Its occupant will report to the alliance operating board and the CEOs of all three carmakers.

The appointment is seen as confirmation of the partners’ desire to strengthen their alliance and find ways to cut collective costs. The group had been led since its inception by Carlos Ghosn, who also chaired all three companies until his arrest a year ago on suspicion of financial wrongdoing at Nissan.

Since then, the alliance has been buffeted by major changes in the top management teams of Renault and Nissan. Both companies have installed new chairmen and CEOs and removed several other key executives who were considered Ghosn loyalists.

The group’s operating board was created in April as the partners sought to reduce the concentration of alliance management power. Jean-Dominique Senard, who took over as Renault’s chairman last January, currently serves as president of the alliance.