Nissan is reportedly making more serious plans for a possible end to its alliance with Renault following Carlos Ghosn’s dramatic escape from Japan

Carlos Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

High-level Nissan executives have intensified the process of making contingency plans for a potential dissolution of the automaker’s alliance with Renault, the Financial Times‘ Peter Campbell, Leo Lewis, and Kana Inagaki reported.

The process has reportedly become more urgent since Carlos Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan alliance, fled Japan to Lebanon in December while awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct. Plans for a possible split include how Nissan would change its board of directors and manage independent engineering and manufacturing processes, according to the Financial Times’ report. As part of their alliance, Nissan and Renault jointly purchase parts and share vehicle platforms.

The automakers’ 20-year relationship has become strained, according to the Financial Times, as many high-level Nissan executives see Renault as having a negative impact on Nissan. The publication notes that there was frustration within Nissan about the integration of the two companies’ engineering and manufacturing departments before Ghosn’s recent legal troubles.

Nissan declined Business Insider’s request for comment. Renault did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Profit margins in the auto industry tend to be small, relative to other industries like tech and finance, so some, like the late Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, have advocated for closer cooperation between automakers to help spread costs over a larger number of vehicles and increase negotiating leverage over suppliers. Last year, Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, which owns Peugeot, announced they would merge.

Read the Financial Times’ full report here.