The slump in the European market continues to worsen, exceeding even the most gloomy forecasts, cautioned Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault/Nissan Alliance, and it is likely to take at least three years before things start to rebound, he said during a media roundtable at the Geneva Motor Show.
In a wide-ranging conversation, the Brazilian-born executive said that despite slow sales he remains a strong proponent of battery power. He also said that global corporations should take a hint from the ballot initiative approved by Swiss voters last weekend and put executive salaries up for shareholders to decide.
European car sales plunged to the lowest level in nearly two decades last year and Ghosn, like many other observers, had been forecasting demand would slip another 3% to 5% as the Continent continued to struggle with a massive debt crisis that nearly shattered the European Union. But based on the results of the first two months of the year, the car market could post as much as an 8% drop for 2013, with little sign that the situation is ready to bottom out, warned the executive.
“The only question is whether it will be bad or very bad” in 2013, said Ghosn, adding that, “I don’t think anybody is forecasting a pick-up of the European market for the next three years.”