Emmanuel Macron caught off guard as French state missed Nissan mutiny

As Ghosn’s arrest Monday in Tokyo raised questions about Nissan’s alliance with French auto giant Renault, the head of state followed the crisis through the headlines, just like his finance minister and the officials in charge of the state’s stake in Renault, two official with knowledge of the matter said. They had no warning that trouble was brewing for 64-year-old Ghosn, a French-Lebanese high-flyer, and more importantly, how that threatened to destabilize the pact between Nissan and Renault, the officials said. “This is the kind of information that those doing economic intelligence want to know about,” Alain Juillet said. “The French intelligence didn’t know how things were moving inside Nissan.” While the government was in the dark, concerns were nevertheless growing elsewhere in Paris. One person familiar with the Renault management team said they knew Nissan had long been angered by Ghosn’s abuse of company resources — using the company jet on personal trips and handing his sister a bogus job. That behavior had been tolerated for years because he was considered so important to the company. Following Ghosn’s ouster, Nissan is again looking to review the shareholding structure of the alliance and wants to create a more balanced partnership.

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