Profits Trump Nissan Renault Alliance For Company Says Analysts

Profits trump Nissan Renault alliance for company says analysts

The next head of Nissan Motor Co will need to prioritize a recovery in profits at the troubled Japanese firm ahead of trying to fix its relationship with top shareholder Renault SA, executives and analysts say. Reviving earnings would strengthen the carmaker's hand in negotiations with its French partner, and is something Renault itself would welcome as the owner of a 43.4% stake in Nissan. Japan's second-largest automaker said on Monday CEO Hiroto Saikawa would step down on Sept. 16 after he admitted to being overpaid in breach of company rules. It's another heavy blow for Nissan, which is already reeling from the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn last year and a subsequent plunge in earnings. Its stock is down 20% this year. For Saikawa's yet-to-be-named replacement, the top priority will be lifting profits from a more than decade low. Earnings have been undercut by years of heavy discounts and low-margin sales to rental firms that have cheapened Nissan's brand image. Renault, which has unsuccessfully sought a full-blown merger with its larger partner, is likely to give the Japanese firm time to focus on its turnaround, a Nissan executive said. "It goes without saying recovery is the biggest priority," the executive said, declining to be identified because the information is not public. "We have Renault's understanding on that." Tensions in the Nissan-Renault partnership worsened after Ghosn's arrest. He is awaiting trial in Tokyo on financial misconduct charges that he denies. The strain has sparked investor concern about the future of the Franco-Japanese automaking alliance at a time when car companies desperately need scale to keep up with sweeping technological changes like electric vehicles and ride-hailing. Nissan executives have long complained about their unequal partnership with Renault, which saved the Japanese firm from bankruptcy in 1999. Nissan holds a 15% stake in Renault, but without voting rights. Tokyo is also seen as being uneasy about the French government's 15% holding in Renault, which makes Paris an indirect shareholder in Nissan. "Profitability is likely to remain under pressure and it (Nissan) is unlikely to promptly reach an agreement with Renault over the future shape of the alliance," analysts at Standard & Poor's said in a note. Tensions worsened when Renault tried to in vain to merge with Nissan and then Fiat Chrysler. Both Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and the French government may now have to hold off on their expressed desire for stronger ties with Nissan. "It's also in the French government's interest for Nissan to improve its bottom line," Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities. "Renault's share price is going to benefit much more from a healthy Nissan than any kind of merger agreement." COO Yasuhiro Yamauchi will take over from Saikawa next week on an interim basis as a newly created nominations committee will recommend a successor by the end of October. Possible candidates include Nissan veteran Jun Seki, and Makoto Uchida, who currently head's the automaker's China operations. Two key tasks for the new CEO will be to see through Nissan's recovery strategy in the United States, where it is trying to stop flooding the market with discounted cars, and execute plans announced by Saikawa in July to cut excess production at its global plants. Saikawa on Monday suggested that his plan to improve U.S. profit by producing higher-quality cars while weaning dealers off of sales incentives was already paying off, and that signs of recovery would be evident at first-half results next month. The new CEO will also oversee a cut of around one-tenth of Nissan's global workforce - its deepest job cuts since 2009 - and slash production capacity, shuttering underutilized plants built as part of Ghosn's aggressive growth strategy in 2011 to grab 8% global market share. While steep, the challenges facing Nissan now are different from 1999, said Macquarie's Lewis, referring to the time when Renault rescued the automaker from the brink bankruptcy and dispatched Ghosn to overhaul the Japanese company. "Nissan has a very strong balance sheet, it has a very profitable business in China. They have some problems in the U.S. but they're not insurmountable," she said. "This is not a 1999 situation where Nissan needs to be rescued."

Trump, Abe Agree On Bilateral Trade Deal

Trump, Abe agree on bilateral trade deal

US President Donald Trump says he and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed on a basic trade deal. He expects the trade agreement with Japan to be signed next month.

Abe and Trump held talks in France on Sunday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit. They reportedly discussed the broad agreement reached at the ministerial trade talks in Washington, and the schedule for the conclusion of the new trade deal.

Abe, Trump Hold Talks In France

Abe, Trump hold talks in France

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump held talks in France on Sunday. They are believed to have discussed bilateral trade negotiations and other issues.

The two leaders met for the first time since June on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit. They have now held a total of 13 meetings.

Deal Will Be Announced At A Meeting Of President Trump And Prime Minister Abe On Sunday

Deal will be announced at a meeting of President Trump and Prime Minister Abe on Sunday

TOKYO — The United States and Japan have reached the broad framework of a trade agreement, with Washington maintaining tariffs on Japanese autos but Tokyo cutting tariffs on U.S. beef and pork, Japan's Nikkei business daily said on Saturday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi reached the deal on Friday in Washington, and it will be announced at a meeting of President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expected on Sunday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, the newspaper said. The Nikkei did not cite any sources for its information. The report comes shortly after Motegi told reporters in Washington that he and Lighthizer had made "big progress" in their talks.

Fm Kono Welcomes Trump-kim Summit

FM Kono welcomes Trump-Kim summit

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono says he supports the proposed resumption of negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

Kono spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone on Sunday after the third meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump And Xi Wrap Up Talks

Trump and Xi wrap up talks

The leaders of the world's two biggest economies --currently embroiled in a trade war-- have held a one-on-one meeting for the first time in nearly seven months.

The meeting in Osaka, Japan, started with the two leaders expressing their hopes for a productive outcome.

Trump Meeting Xi In Osaka

Trump meeting Xi in Osaka

A much anticipated meeting is underway on the sidelines of the G20. The leaders of the world's two biggest economies -- currently embroiled in a trade war -- are holding a one-on-one for the first time in nearly seven months.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are holding talks in Osaka.

White House: Trump, Abe Discuss Trade, Security

White House: Trump, Abe discuss trade, security

The White House says US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to seek mutually beneficial bilateral trade. They also discussed North Korea and Iran.

The two leaders held talks in Osaka on Friday morning on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

Trump And Putin Meet In Osaka

Trump and Putin meet in Osaka

The US President Donald Trump also sat down with Russian President Vladimir Putin in one of the more highly anticipated sideline meetings of the summit.

At the onset, the two leaders expressed willingness to improve relations that are said to be at the worst level since the Cold War.

Abe, Trump Hold Meeting

Abe, Trump hold meeting

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sat down for talks with US President Donald Trump. Abe started out by asking Donald Trump for support to make the G20 a success.

Abe said, "At this G20 summit, I want to send out a strong message to the world about our commitment to helping solve the challenges the international community is facing, such as sustainably developing the global economy. I believe cooperation between Japan and the United States is essential for such an effort."

Abe Holds Bilateral Talks With Trump

Abe holds bilateral talks with Trump

World leaders are gathering in Osaka for the two-day G20 summit. Besides the formal sessions, bilateral talks between key leaders on the sidelines are also generating a lot of attention. One of them was Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with US President Donald Trump.

At the onset of the talks, Abe said, "I'd like to welcome President Trump to Osaka. This visit for G20 follows my visit to the United States in April, and the President's visit to Japan as a state guest in May. Such frequent mutual visit by the leaders of the two countries in such a short span of time is the evidence of how robust Japan-US alliance is. I'd like to express my gratitude once again last month, as the first state guest to Japan in the new era of Reiwa.

Suga Comments On Trump Reelection Bid

Suga comments on Trump reelection bid

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has declined to comment on US President Donald Trump's official launch of his re-election campaign.

Suga told reporters on Wednesday that he will refrain from speaking about US domestic affairs.

Abe Briefs Trump About Iran Visit

Abe briefs Trump about Iran visit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says US President Donald Trump has expressed gratitude for his visit to Iran and efforts to help ease tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Abe spoke with Trump by phone on Friday evening after returning to Japan from a trip to Iran.