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Renault-Nissan Partnership Set to Overcome Latest Crisis, Says Ghosn

Expect a lot more consolidation in the auto industry, says Renault-Nissan CEO.

by on Oct.28, 2015

While consolidation is essential to the auto industry, it won't be easy to make work, warns Ghosn.

The 16-year-old alliance between Japan’s Nissan and France’s Renault isn’t about to break down, Carlos Ghosn, who serves as CEO of both companies, said during an appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Widely considered the most successful relationship of its kind in the auto industry, questions have been raised by reports that the French government wants to raise its stake in Renault, something that could shift the power balance of the alliance. Some observers now expect Nissan – which holds no voting rights in its ally – to step in and purchase a stake in Renault.

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While Ghosn declined to address specifics, he stressed that he doesn’t see the Renault-Nissan Alliance breaking down. “From time to time you are going to have crisis, problems, divergence,” he said during his news conference, but the two companies are “aligned on the fact that the alliance has been a tremendous success.” (more…)

Nissan Needs More US Capacity, New Factory Could be in the Works

Slow March sales not like to trigger rebate war, says CEO Ghosn, who expects makers to accelerate use of new safety technology.

by on Apr.02, 2015

Carlos Ghosn said in New York today that strong U.S. sales present Nissan with a capacity problem and the maker may need a new plant.

March brought disappointing car sales for most manufacturers, but the recovery of the U.S. market hasn’t topped out, said Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, during a NY Auto Show media roundtable. In fact, the market is strong enough to keep the Nissan brand on track to hitting a targeted 10% market share, Ghosn said.

That goal actually poses a problem for the Japanese maker, making it increasingly difficult to roll out enough vehicles from its network of North American assembly plants.

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“Without a doubt,” said Ghosn, “we are going to need more capacity in North America.” The question is whether that will come from a new assembly plant or by finding ways to boost capacity at existing facilities, such as the core factory in Smyrna, Tennessee. (more…)

Ghosn Aims to Make Renault-Nissan Alliance World’s Third-Largest Automaker

Exec sees opportunity in uncertainty.

by on Mar.04, 2015

Nissan-Renault's Carlos Ghosn said he expects his company to be the third-largest automaker in the world by 2018: supplanting GM.

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.

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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…)

Daimler, Nissan and Renault Expand Global Alliance

“Nothing is off-limits” – except a full merger.

by on Sep.28, 2012

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zeetsche and Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn celebrate the expansion of their 30-month-old alliance.

Just about anything is possible as Daimler, Renault and Nissan announce yet another big expansion of their global alliance – except for the possibility of a full-out merger, the CEOs of the three makers said during a joint Paris Motor Show news conference.

The partners have rapidly added a wide range of new projects since first revealing a limited series of joint ventures in 2010. The latest move will see Daimler, Renault and Nissan jointly developing a new generation of compact engines while also sharing transmissions.

Meanwhile, Daimler could announce an even more expansive program before year-end that would have it share in a new assembly complex Nissan has already announced for Mexico.

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“Over time, we have built up so much trust we are working like hand and glove,” declared Daimler Chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche, sitting alongside Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of both Nissan and Renault, who expressed similarly upbeat sentiments about an alliance the partners expect to save billions of dollars in the coming years – while also helping the makers rush new product to market at a faster pace.

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Mercedes Near Decision on Sharing Mexican Plant with Nissan

“Potential pros and cons,” says Zetsche.

by on Sep.28, 2012

Zetsche is apparently leaning towards sharing a Mexican assembly plant with Nissan.

Daimler AG will “probably” announce by year-end a decision on where it will build a new North American assembly plant, Chairman Dieter Zetsche tells TheDetroitBureau.com, and there is a strong possibility that the new factory will be part of a planned mega-complex alliance partner Nissan has already committed to in Mexico.

“We are investigating the potential of our plants operating together,” said Zetsche, confirming a story first reported by TheDetroitBureau.com earlier this year.

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Daimler needs more capacity to supply North America and other markets , having reached the limits of what it thinks can be done out of its existing Mercedes-Benz assembly plant near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Until now, Zetsche had only confirmed that it was looking at various sites in the U.S., Canada and the U.S.

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Nissan-Renault Alliance Sees Global Demand Surge

Global partners set new sales record for 2011.

by on Jan.11, 2012

Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn sees partnership with Daimler heating up.

Despite the economic problems in Europe and concerns about a double-dip recession in the U.S., the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan Alliance set a sales record in 2011, collectively marketing a total 8.03 million vehicles around the world, including 4.67 million vehicles for Nissan, 2.72 million for Renault, and 638,000 for AvtoVAZ, their Russian partner.

The Alliance achieved a 10.3% increase in volume from the 7.28 million vehicles sold across the Alliance in calendar-year 2010 despite an unusually harsh year, in which the auto industry faced the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the October flooding in Thailand, the abnormal strength of the yen and eurozone uncertainties.

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“Partnerships are key to regional growth and a key reason the Alliance achieved a new sales record,” said Carlos Ghosn, the Brazilian-born executive who serves as CEO for both Nissan and Renault.

The Japanese side of the alliance was a particular stand-out considering the disasters in Japan and subsequent flooding in Thailand.  In contrast to rivals Toyota and Honda, who struggled with product shortages until late in the year, Nissan was already nearing full-speed production by July. But it might not have gone so well.

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