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Partnerships and alliances

On a recent trip to India, the media repeatedly asked me why the Alliance has chosen to work with multiple partners in that market.  Partnerships and strategic alliances are not new for the auto industry, but the way in which the Alliance has chosen to work in India seems to raise constant questions.

History may provide some insight to our approach. When the Renault-Nissan Alliance was formed in 1999, the global auto industry was in a period of consolidation. Larger companies were buying smaller ones, and global partnerships were being formed. Eleven years later, the Alliance stands as the only major partnership still intact and the only one that is creating value. Why?

Whether in business, politics, society or personal life, a basic respect for identity is the key ingredient in making any kind of cooperative arrangement work. Just consider a marriage: A couple does not assume a converged, single identity when they get married. Instead, they retain their own individuality and join to build a life together, united by shared interests and goals, each bringing something different to the union.  

In business, regardless of the industry, the most successful and enduring partnerships are those created with a respect for identity as the constant guiding principle. I am convinced this is the principle driver of our success and durability in the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

I also believe it is why we feel so comfortable working with multiple partners around the world. Whether it is AvtoVAZ in Russia, Dong Feng in China or Ashok Leyland in India, the Alliance instinctively looks for like-minded companies that understand the principle of mutual benefits within the context of autonomous identity.

So we make no apologies for our strategy in India. This is a new market for the Alliance, and we want to leverage the insights and expertise that local partners can bring us. Our strategy in India is to make the Alliance a full-line operation, delivering products in all segments of the market and realizing a share at least equal to our 10% global share of the total industry.

Just as one teacher did not teach all subjects in school, we have decided to partner with different companies that bring us different expertise in India. The end result will enable the Alliance to compete effectively and efficiently in all the major segments.  

For many, partnerships become a race for domination, each trying to gain the upper hand and implement their own pre-determined strategy. The Renault-Nissan Alliance thinks differently and, ultimately, I believe is a more attractive potential partner for other like-minded companies.

In India, I was repeatedly asked why we have so many partners. Outside of India, I am repeatedly asked if I would consider future partners for the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Based on the evidence from the last 11 years, I hope the answer to both questions is now obvious.