Renault posts record earnings, strengthening Ghosn’s hand

The carmaker’s board said on Thursday it would ask shareholders in June to back Ghosn for another four-year term, during which he would “take decisive steps to make the alliance irreversible” and “strengthen the succession plan”.

Renault owns 43.4 percent of its Japanese partner, which in turn controls Mitsubishi Motors via a 34 percent stake.

Ghosn had earlier been expected to hand over the reins to a new CEO and move to a non-executive chairman role overseeing the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. But the plan foundered on differences with the French state over the alliance’s future shape and direction, sources have said.

President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he was seeking a “clear road map safeguarding the interests of the company, the alliance and all of the French industrial sites”.

Ghosn has also agreed to cut his salary by about 30 percent, Renault confirmed, securing government support for his reduced package. Shareholders led by the French state voted against his compensation in 2016 but approved it narrowly last year.

Net income 49.6 percent to 5.114 billion euros, Renault said, helped by a 2.791 billion euro contribution from Nissan.

Renault’s 2017 global vehicle deliveries rose 8.5 percent, the company disclosed last month, with about one-third of the growth coming from Europe – helped by its new Koleos mid-sized SUV and recently revamped Megane family of compact cars.

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