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Nissan Holding Course on Autonomous, Electric Vehicles, Says CEO Ghosn

Chief exec warns of “disruptors” that could transform the auto industry.

by on Sep.15, 2015

Autonomous vehicle technology will reach the market in "waves," says Nissan CEO Ghosn.

Japanese automaker Nissan has no intention of backing down on either its plans to sell electric vehicles or its push to be one of, if not the, first automaker to have a fully autonomous vehicle on the market, CEO Carlos Ghosn said during a Frankfurt Motor Show meeting with reporters.

Nissan was the first automaker to go mainstream with a pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, the Leaf. And it is pushing to have a fully autonomous vehicle in production by 2020, with a series of less advanced technologies coming out in “waves,” said Ghosn, over the next five years.

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Autonomous technology “won’t come all of a sudden,” stressed the Brazilian-born executive. “We will have waves” of more and more capable systems starting next year.

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Nissan Will Miss Leaf Sales Targets, Says Ghosn

Maker still upbeat about EV opportunities.

by on Nov.16, 2012

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn shown with the Infiniti LE battery-car concept.

A day after declaring Nissan’s commitment to automotive electrification, CEO Carlos Ghosn acknowledged the maker will fall short of its admittedly ambitious 2012 sales goals for the first of those battery cars, the Nissan Leaf.

After a sharp downturn early this year, however, sales of the mass-market electric vehicle took a sharp turn upward last month – and Nissan is expecting to see an even bigger shift in momentum when it opens its all-new U.S. battery car assembly line next month.

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Nonetheless, “The forecast we have given ourselves for the year will not be reached,” Ghosn acknowledged during an interview on Bloomberg Television.

The maker narrowly missed its goal last year, with U.S. sales of 9,679 Leaf battery cars, but it will fall even further behind for 2012. Through October, demand was down 15.6%, at 6,791 of the vehicles. But last month saw the first big surge of the month, sales climbing 86% to 1,579.

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“Key” to the Future, Nissan Planning $8 Billion Push into China

Maker will launch 30 new models by 2015.

by on Jul.26, 2011

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn outlines big plans for the Chinese market.

Calling it the “key” to the company’s future, Nissan will invest $8 billion in an aggressive Chinese expansion plan that it hopes will help double annual sales in the booming Asian market.

Working with its local partner, the Dongfeng Group, Nissan says it will add another 30 new models to its Chinese line-up by 2015, including a new battery-electric vehicle that will be sold under the new low-priced Venucia brand.

In all, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the Japanese maker hopes to nearly double sales in China over the next four years.  They hit 1.3 million last year but Nissan is targeting a figure closer to 2.3 million by 2015.

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“China is key to our total growth,” the Brazilian-born executive declared during a Beijing news conference.  “We used to be extremely dependent on one market – it was the U.S. market,” he added, but the company’s strategy is now to put more emphasis on China.

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Carlos Ghosn Becomes Japan’s Top-Paid Gaijin

Nissan chief handily out-earns Toyota, Honda chief execs – but lags well behind Ford’s Mulally.

by on Jun.30, 2011

Ghosn collects $12 million at Nissan and another $1.7 million for his duties at Renault.

It’s expensive in Tokyo.  But Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn shouldn’t have to worry much about the price of sashimi – the Brazilian-born executive drawing a paycheck of nearly $12 million last year.

That figure, which includes pay, stock options and bonuses, doesn’t include the $1.7 million Ghosn also collected from Nissan’s French alliance partner Renault, where he also serves as CEO.

Ghosn’s 2010 compensation made him the highest-paid “gaijin,” or foreign, executive in Japan, readily out-earning Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer, who made $10.66 million for 2010, as well as the managers at Nissan’s primary automotive rivals.  By comparison, Akio Toyoda, the founding family heir and chief executive at Toyota, made $1.8 million, while Honda’s Takanobu Ito had to get by on a mere $1.6 million.

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But while lavish by Japanese standards, Ghosn’s remuneration was modest in comparison to the paycheck taken home by Ford Motor Co.’s top two bosses.  Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally’s total package nudged up towards the nine-figure mark, including the $56 million in stock he was awarded, while Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. claimed $42 million in stock on top of his pay and bonuses.

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