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It looks like the Nissan-Renault partnership could be coming to an end.

According to reports, "Nissan has accelerated the planning since its former Chairman Carlos Ghosn fled from Japan where he was on bail accused of financial crimes to his former childhood home of Lebanon," according to the Financial Times.

Bloomberg also reported that "Nissan executives have examined the possibility of breaking away from Renault amid concerns that relations with the longtime French partner have turned dysfunctional." Also "Since last year, Nissan has been exploring the pros and cons of sustaining the alliance, particularly when it comes to engineering and technology sharing, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Those studies predate Ghosn’s escape from Japan and were preliminary, so no decision has been made, the person said."

Apparently this rift has been going on for a while:

Technology tensions

Relations soured following Ghosn's arrest, but the roots behind the tensions go back years.

A major sticking point since 2015 has been the equal division of costs for r&d into new technology and products, two sources close to Nissan said.

That strategy "did not compensate Nissan's work properly: Nissan's engineering output was 40 percent better, meaning Nissan engineers on average produced 40 percent more than their Renault counterparts in a given amount of time spent on a job," said one of the sources.

"When measured more strictly, Nissan's output in some cases was double Renault's," he said.

Nissan has asked for an analysis of the workloads and productivity of Renault and Nissan staffs, one person familiar with the situation said.

Since Ghosn’s downfall, the two automakers have struggled financially — their shares were the two worst performers among major automakers last year — and drifted apart at a time when the costs of electrification and autonomous driving are pressuring incumbent automakers to team up or consolidate.

Nissan did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, a holiday in Japan. Renault declined to comment.
The big question though, is whether or not Nissan can survive on their own, and also if they were to split from Renault, how would it affect the development of the Ariya?

This is going to be a big story for us to follow because it could completely change Nissan for better or worse.

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