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Renault and Nissan really need help. The alliance that Carlos Ghosn built could be their only hope

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How Volkswagen is reopening factories during the pandemic

Already under great pressure from the decline in sales and profits in 2019, the fall in global car demand this year could push French and Japanese companies closer together to cut costs and share the burden of building a new generation of electric vehicles.

The automakers have been partners since 1999, working together on strategy and product development while never taking risks and completing a full merger. Together with Mitsubishi Motors’ junior partners, the unique industry alliance employs around 450,000 people and in 2018 sells around one in every nine cars worldwide.

But the partnership began the third decade in chaos. That 2018 arrested from former alliance boss Carlos Ghosn, a turnaround expert believed to keep Renault and Nissan in business, sparked a series of leadership changes in both car makers, confusion about their strategy and questions whether stuttered relationship has outlived its usefulness.

Renault participated in merger talks with European rivals, and there are big questions about how the alliance will revive its wealth in North America, where Nissan is an important player but its French counterpart is not. Analysts also ask questions about cultural differences in the company.

Nissan (NSANF) and Renault (RNLSY), which was linked through a series of equity shares, denied in January that they were disbanding. Then coronaviruses attacked, plunging them deeper into the crisis and requiring an overhaul that the carmaker hopes to uncover on Wednesday.
Nissan is preparing to reduce global production capacity by 20% and close its factory in Barcelona, ​​according to Japan Nikkei Asia Review. Japanese media reported that Nissan could cut its workforce by 20,000. Renault can also stop making two popular models in Spain and move the production to Nissan’s large factory in Britain, according to the report Financial time.

The companies so far have largely maintained separate manufacturing facilities. Sharing production at the Sunderland factory can be a sign that car makers have put aside their differences and responded to the crisis by helping each other reduce costs.

Ghosn, who was arrested on charges of understating his income, always denied accusations of financial irregularities. He hopes to bring the company closer together, and he blamed his arrest for Nissan’s conspiracy aimed at preventing further integration with Renault. Nissan denied this story.

According to Nikkei, Renault and Nissan are looking for joint production facilities elsewhere in Europe, as well as South America and Southeast Asia. Nissan, for example, can start producing Renault vehicles at its plant in Brazil. The companies also reportedly hope to increase the number of parts that can be shared between their cars and accelerate plans to develop a shared vehicle platform.

The deepening of the commitment will mark a major change: As recently as last year, Renault has been looking beyond alliances to cut costs, holding merger talks with Fiat Chrysler (FCAU). The Italian-American company then agreed to a merger with owners of Peugeot and Citroen, closing other potential avenues for collaboration for Renault.

Spokespersons for Nissan and Renault declined to comment on Monday.

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Renault and Nissan are already struggling

Renault was in trouble before the pandemic struck. The French carmaker reported the worst financial performance in a decade last year, with net profit down 99% to only € 19 million ($ 21 million). Its share price has fallen 69% since the start of 2019.

In April, the company’s global sales fell by almost 70% compared to the same month last year when a pandemic hit Europe and North America. The company stopped production at 12 facilities in France in mid-March, continuing operations in most factories only this month.

There was also chaos in the leadership ranks, with Ghosn’s direct successor as CEO, Thierry Bolloré, ousted last October in what he denounced as a “coup.” Bolloré’s successor, Luca de Meo, did not start work until July.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned Friday that Renault is in “serious financial trouble.” “Renault could disappear,” he told Europe 1 radio.

The French government owns 15% of Renault, and is currently negotiating a € 5 billion ($ 5.4 billion) loan requirement for the company, which has not been approved by Le Maire. The Finance Minister said last week that Renault should not close its factory north of Paris – one of the few facilities currently producing cars for Nissan.

“We signed when we found out what Renault’s strategy was,” Le Maire told the radio station. The company’s plan must include the transition to more environmentally friendly vehicles. “We want Renault to be more productive and produce more vehicles, especially electricity, in France,” he added.

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Nissan, which reports financial results for the 2019 fiscal year on Thursday, has experienced four consecutive quarters of decline. Operating profit fell to 54.3 billion yen ($ 504 million) for the three months ended December, down 83% from the same quarter a year earlier.

– Hanna Ziady contributed reporting.

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Who is Paulo Bento, the Portuguese coach from South Korea who coached Cruzeiro?

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The coach commanded the Portuguese national team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and left the South Korean national team after being eliminated in Qatar.

Portuguese coach Paulo Bento qualified South Korea for the playoffs of the World Cup, something the team had not achieved since 2010, when the South Korean team reached the 1/8 finals of this championship. But 4-1 rout against Brazil as a result, shortened the path of the Asian team, as well as put an end to the work of Paulo Sousa in the national team.

Paulo Bento started his career as a coach with the youth team of Sporting Clube Portugal in 2004. At the club, he commanded the youth team for two seasons, winning the junior national tournament in his first year. Incidentally, the coach took over the first team shortly after he announced his retirement as a player.

Given his prominence in the youth categories, Paulo was chosen to replace José Peseiro, who was eliminated in European competition, in the professional team of Sporting CP for the 2005 season./2006.

Professionally, Bento was runner-up for four seasons in a row in the Portuguese Championship. Despite this, the coach won two Portuguese Cups and two Candido de Oliveira Super Cups. On November 6, 2009, the coach resigned.

Having distinguished himself at Sporting, Paulo Bento was announced as Portugal’s coach on 21 September 2010 after the World Cup in South Africa, where the then-champion Spain was selected in the round of 16.

Gettyimages

In qualifying, the coach managed to show good results in the first games, plus, of course, take Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012, taking off from Spain on penalties. Having stood out in competitions, the coach extended the contract until Euro 2016.

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However, after losing to Albania in qualifying for Euro 2016, the coach could not resist and was fired in September 2014. The unsuccessful campaign at the World Cup of the same year in Brazil also affected.

After the Portugal national team, Paulo Bento returned to Brazil in May 2016, but this time to coach the Cruzeiro club. With a contract until December 2017, the coach made his debut in the second round of the Brasileirão the same year.

Paulo Bento Cruzeiro Brazilian Championship in Sao Paulo 05062016Washington Alves/Light Press/Cruzeiro

However, Bento only lasted 17 matches in power with six wins, three draws and eight losses, leaving the team in second-to-last place in the tournament.

On 11 August 2016, the coach was announced as the new commander of Olympiacos, Greece, where he remained until 6 March 2017, winning the Greek title. Following this, Paulo Bento was announced as Chongqing Dangdai of China leading the team for only 15 matches.

20221124 Paulo BentoGetty Images

On August 16, 2018, Paulo Bento was announced as the new coach of South Korea following the departure of Shin Tae-yong, who lost in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.

As part of the South Korean national team, the coach has 55 wins, 12 draws and eight losses, having won the East Asian Cup title and classified the team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After being knocked out against Brazil in the 1/8 finals, the Portuguese announced his retirement from the national team.

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Pioli ‘pulls’ Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese ‘must make a dash’

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Pioli 'pulls' Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese 'must make a dash'

FROMTefano Pioli, Milan coach, gave an interview on the Italian radio program Sky Calcio Club on Sunday in which he talked about Rafael Leao’s participation in the 2022 Mundial, a test in which the Portuguese striker was a replacement for Fernando Santos. ‘, indicating that he has been talking to his player over the past few days.

“If we talk? They have an obligation to call me at the end of the game. He is happy because Portugal is doing well. It is clear that he would like to play more. I can take advantage of this for a contract extension,” said Pioli, who also spoke about the Portuguese’s renewal process.

“He is fine with us and management and Rafael are talking. We are waiting for good news,” the Transalpine coach fired.

Looking at his player’s short playing time at this 2022 World Cup, Pioli admitted that Rafael Leau would like to have more playing time for the national team, but hinted that the Portuguese striker is not unhappy.

“If he plays a little? It’s hard to judge because Portugal has a very high quality team. Rafael is happy because Portugal is having a good World Cup, but there is a lot of quality and competitiveness in the attacking sector of the Portuguese team. “, – stressed the coach of the Italian, who also left a small warning to Rafael Leau.

“When you see him in training, you immediately understand that he has incredible potential. He has technique and speed that few others have. Over the course of a period, he had to develop and adapt to the reality at Milan, where the pressure is different from what he is. he was in Lille. It took time, but his potential to become a great player was always there. But he still needs to make the leap to become a champion because he can be even more decisive in the opponent’s zone,” he stressed.

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“If you think about Rafael from two years ago, he has made tremendous progress. He’s missing a few things, but he’s smart and approachable. I can give him all the ideas he wants, but his talent must be left free. should improve his heading, given his physique,” he concluded.

Read also: Spaniards say Carlo Ancelotti is “in love” with Rafael Leao

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Portugal, nuts and the Portuguese consumer: a successful trilogy

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Portugal, nuts and the Portuguese consumer: a successful trilogy

Nuts have become part of a limited group of Portuguese agri-food sectors that manage to achieve much-desired food self-sufficiency. In the case of almonds it is 170% and in the case of chestnuts it is 116% in relation to the national consumption.

The value of Portuguese agricultural production in 2021 was 9.6 billion euros, representing a growth rate of 14.6% compared to 2020, and therefore it is fair to say that dried fruits today, with a production of 80,000 tons and exports reaching 100 million euros contributed. to this success.

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