Nissan to contribute to Notre Dame restoration

PARIS • Nissan Motor Co Ltd will donate €100,000 (RM465,000) for the rebuilding of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a pledge that comes as the Japanese automaker seeks to repair strained relations with the French government and partner Renault SA after former chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested.

Nissan’s contribution is “in recognition of and appreciation for Nissan Europe and Renault employees, as well as the people of France”, the company said in a statement last Friday.

The Yokohama-based manufacturer joined a host of companies and individuals pledging more than US$1 billion (RM4.13 billion) to rebuild one of the French capital’s most important landmarks after an April 15 blaze. Renault hasn’t announced a gift.

Nissan and Renault are trying to move beyond Ghosn, who is awaiting trial in a Tokyo prison on charges of financial misconduct. He has denied the allegations, but Ghosn’s legal woes have thrown the firms’ decades-old alliance into disarray.

Months before Ghosn’s arrest in November, his push to solidify the alliance on the impetus of France raised fears in Japan that it would boost the influence of the French state, Renault’s most powerful shareholder, at Nissan’s expense.

Corporate and individual donations for Notre Dame have continued to pour in after a call from French President Emmanuel Macron for a fundraising campaign. — Bloomberg