By 2005, Renault and Nissan will share one boss, and this boss won't share power with anyone else, Automotive News Europe said.

The paper added this is the message that Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan, has been sending loud and clear as the time nears when he takes over from Louis Schweitzer as Renault's chief executive. This is slated for April 2005, at the end of Nissan's fiscal year. Ghosn will have spent six years masterminding one of the most spectacular turn-arounds in the car industry's history.

"Renault has only one boss, and it is Louis Schweitzer," Ghosn said in a recent interview with French daily Le Monde. "From 2005, it will be the same thing: there will be only one boss."

He repeated the point in another daily, Le Figaro: "I am not involved in the decisions taken currently at Renault, not even on product planning. There can't be two bosses. This is how things work today, and how they will work tomorrow."

Ghosn has reasons to labour his point. Schweitzer has made clear that, while relinquishing executive powers to Ghosn in 2005, he will remain Renault's chairman. Moreover, at May's annual meeting, Schweitzer obtained permission from Renault shareholders to remain in the job till 2012, when he turns 70.

For a French company, this will be a highly unusual power structure. Unlike US companies where a chairman and a chief executive typically co-exist at the top, most French companies are ruled by an all-powerful "président directeur général."

As Renault's management structure moves into uncharted territory, Ghosn is making clear where he stands: all the power will be his, Automotive News Europe said.