No one ever accused Carlos Ghosn of lacking ambition. Ever since signing up as CEO of Nissan, and then adding its alliance partner Renault to his responsibilities, the Brazilian-born executive has been driving relentlessly to boost sales, share and profits.
And in a series of appearances at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Ghosn laid out his most ambitious target yet. Currently fourth in the global market, he proclaimed the Renault-Nissan Alliance will become the world’s third-largest automotive group by 2018. That should have General Motors looking anxiously over its corporate shoulder, even as Toyota and Volkswagen AG fight it out for the top sales spot.
At a roundtable appearance late during the first day of Geneva media previews, Ghosn admitted there are plenty of hurdles for both the auto industry and for Renault-Nissan itself. The European recovery has begun, albeit slowly, in part due to the drag of the slumping Russian market. But even there, Ghosn sees an upside, the “opportunity to gain marketshare” because of the Alliance’s strong manufacturing base in the heart of the former Soviet Union. (more…)