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Nissan will invest in Renault’s Ampere in pursuit of global EV roadmap, CEO says

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By Praveen Paramasivam and Aditi Shah

ORAGADAM, India (Reuters) -Japan’s Nissan Motor will invest in Renault’s electric vehicle (EV) unit Ampere even after its listing plans fell through, while also evaluating its partnership with Honda Motor to further build its global EV expansion.

“We want to be a global (EV) player in the world,” Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida told reporters during a press briefing in the southern Indian city of Chennai on Wednesday, adding that the company wants to deepen its partnership with Renault.

“Therefore, regardless of the IPO whatsoever, we are looking at Ampere. We are already discussing about Ampere, our investment,” Uchida added.

Nissan, in December, had confirmed it would invest 600 million euros ($650 million) in Renault’s EV business Ampere, listing plans for which the French car-maker ditched earlier this year because of sluggish stock market conditions.

Renault’s chairman said last month the decision will not delay investments from Nissan or other long-time partner Mitsubishi. This was echoed on the day by Nissan’s top boss.

The 91-year old Nissan Motor, which was once a pioneer in EVs with its all-electric Leaf model, is also simultaneously fielding a partnership with larger domestic rival Honda Motor, in a strategic bid to stave off stiff competition in the EV space from China’s BYD, Tesla and other global automakers.

“With Honda, we just started to do the feasibility study,” Uchida told reporters on Wednesday, without disclosing further details of the collaboration.

As per the non-binding MoU signed, Nissan and Honda are looking at areas of “potential collaboration”, but have yet to determine the scope.

The automakers are open to working together in any region — in Japan and overseas, Uchida had said earlier this month.

($1 = 0.9232 euros)

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Oragadam and Aditi Shah, additional reporting by Daniel Leussink in Tokyo and Gilles Guillaume in Paris; writing by Varun Hebbalalu; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)

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