Nissan to invest up to €600 million in Ampere
The Japanese carmaker Nissan will invest up to 600 million euros in Renault’s new electric car division Ampere. With the official confirmation by the two companies, Nissan’s participation is still somewhat smaller than had been suspected in the meantime.
Nissan’s investment in Ampere is part of the final agreements now concluded for the realignment of the manufacturer alliance announced in early February, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023 after regulatory approvals are received.
Nissan has now committed to invest up to €600 million in Ampere “to be a strategic investor in Ampere and to secure a seat on the board”, Renault has now announced. The investment is in line with Nissan’s electrification strategy and creates “multiple potential benefits and synergies that complement Nissan’s own goals and initiatives in Europe and other potential markets”, according to the Japanese company’s almost identical statement.
In mid-July, the Japanese daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Nissan would invest around 100 billion yen (646 million euros) in Ampere and thus probably hold a stake of less than ten per cent – less than previously assumed. With the now announced “up to 600 million euros”, Nissan’s investment in the electric car division thus turns out to be even lower.
The aforementioned agreement from February had made it possible for Nissan to take a stake of up to 15 per cent in Ampere – so the Japanese carmaker is now not making full use of this framework. Why this decision was made in this way is not spelt out in the notices. The overall deal includes not only the investment in Ampere, but also cooperations for Europe, Latin America and India.
The 15 per cent stake is considered an important house number in the manufacturer alliance: Nissan has held 15 per cent of Renault for many years, but the French held 43 per cent of the Japanese and had more power with the alliance partner than Nissan had with Renault. As a result, it was also agreed in February that Renault would reduce its direct stake in Nissan to 15 per cent. The 28.4 per cent of Nissan shares that Renault wants to cede are to be transferred to a French trust. Renault would then only have 15 per cent of the voting rights. In the course of this, however, it was also agreed that Nissan would not take over more than 15 per cent of Ampere.
“The investment opportunity in Ampere complements and strengthens Nissan’s ongoing electric push in Europe and will deliver numerous synergies, including cost efficiencies, regulatory compliance, and a broader range of EV products and powertrains,” says Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida. Luca de Meo, Renault Group CEO, adds: “We are all engaged with the right mindset and welcome Nissan as a strong partner in our upcoming EV and Software pure player Ampere. It confirms the attractiveness of the project to be front runner in Europe, allowing Renault and its Alliance partners to position themselves ahead of the starting grid for the EV and software race in Europe.”