Rumour: Renault to merge with Nissan and buy Fiat-Chrysler

Rumour: Renault to merge with Nissan and buy Fiat-Chrysler”

The committee, which has been scrutinising Nissan's corporate governance since the start of the year, said in its report that the concentration of all authority on Ghosn was the primary root cause of the misconduct.

In its final report, the committee also recommended that an outside director lead the Nissan board and that a majority of its members consist of external directors.

Arrested in November, he has been charged with falsifying financial reports in under-reporting his compensation, and with breach of trust in having Nissan shoulder investment losses and making payments to a Saudi businessman.

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's former chairman, was treated as a "deity" after rescuing the company from collapse and given too much power as result, a report into governance at the Japanese vehicle maker has concluded. Nissan has a 15 percent stake in the French automaker but without voting rights. Shares in Renault rose as much as 3.3% in Paris, while Fiat jumped as much as 3.8% in Milan yesterday.

In addition, it said Nissan's representative executive officer should not also hold senior positions at Renault and Mitsubishi.

Saikawa, who was speaking outside his home, did not specifically address his responsibility in the scandal but has previously said that top management, including himself, were responsible for weak governance which led to the misconduct.

It urged Nissan to newly set up by June board committees comprised of outside directors to decide on executive nominations and remuneration. Discussions of a possible merger took place a few years ago, but former Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn's proposal then was stopped by the French government.

The two companies have now created a so-called "alliance board", chaired by Ghosn's successor at Renault, Jean-Dominique Senard. But the group is now struggling to adapt to environmental regulations and increased demand for electric and driverless cars as information technology newcomers join the competition.

Nissan's evolving relationship with French alliance partner Renault SA complicates the issues.

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