Nissan is reportedly mulling plans to sell all or part of its stake in fellow Japanese car giant Mitsubishi, in a move that would shake up the global car market.
Two years on from the scandalous arrest of former chief exec Carlos Ghosn, the move would radically alter the global alliance between the two and Renault, of which he was the chief architect.
Bloomberg reported that the company was looking into ways to get rid of its 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi, citing unidentified sources.
A spokesperson for Nissan denied the reports, saying: “There are no plans to change the capital structure with Mitsubishi”. Mitsubishi said the same.
Shares in the carmaker jumped 5.4 per cent on the back of the rumours to trade at highs not seen since June.
Nissan executives are reportedly concerned that the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will take longer than expected.
The company has forecast its first loss since the 2008 financial crisis as a result of the economic collapse caused by the pandemic.
Earlier this year, the members of the Ghosn-brokered alliance unveiled a strategy aimed at increasing cooperation between the three in developing new vehicles.
But today’s reports suggest that the partnership’s days could be numbered, despite noises to the opposite.
If so, it would represent a remarkable unravelling of what Ghosn once termed a “new force” in the global auto industry, one that he wished to dethrone Toyota and Volkswagen as the world’s largest car producers.
His remarkable fall, compounded by the extended slump caused by the pandemic, has instead left the alliance on the rocks.