— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on December 2, 2019, Monday.
Alliance of Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp actually has formed for a long time, but a year ago the "Ghosn incident" shaked this alliance. In November last year, French Carlos Ghosn, who is the most influential man in this alliance,
Was arrested at Haneda airport in Tokyo on suspicion of significant acts of misconduct, including underreporting his income. Then, Nissan officially announced to fire Ghosn after a snap board meeting. Ghosn is a key figure in forming the alliance and was being generally acknowledged to distinguish himself in saving Nissan, so after the "Ghosn incident", some French media accused Nissan for repaying Ghosn evil for good and trying to kick Renault out from the alliance to impede the progress of the alliance's integration efforts.
The incident also raised fears that the alliance could be divided or even totally breakdown, now they've agreed to form a new company focused on research and development of advanced automotive technologies, that means the 3 companies still want to strengthen the alliance. Ignoring the internal divisions to corporate together is largely because of the conditions in auto industry.
A slowdown stared to appear in the global auto industry since last year, and global auto sales suffered its first drop since the financial crisis in 2008, this situation gets even worse this year. The global auto sales will lost 4% to 77.5M this year, hitting the worst record from financial crisis, according to the report released by Fitch released last week.
Under the weak markets of global automotive industry, an increasing pressure from technological innovation, cost and market competition drives global auto manufacturers to corporate together, we noticed that in the past one more year, more and more auto firms start to corporate or even go M&As. Major auto firms are looking for M&As opportunities to withstand the uncertainty in auto industry.
Last month, Fiat Chrysler announced to merge with PSA, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Ford announced their joint venture in EVs and driverless technology. Tesla also said it will establish a super plant in Berlin, Germany, which will be Tesla's first super plant in Europe. Europe's traditional auto industry will also face direct challenges and impact
And of course, Japan's automakers cannot be immune to global trend. The alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi has some issues internally, but on backdrop of current situation, weakening their corporation relationship is not a smart strategy, according to analysis. We will keep an eye on this issue.