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Nissan and Renault Set to Launch 10 Autonomous Vehicles by 2020

“The future is not clear,” says CEO Ghosn.

by on Mar.24, 2016

“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in NY.

Already the world’s number one producer of battery-electric vehicles, Japan’s Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault intend to become the leader in autonomous driving, as well – CEO Carlos Ghosn telling a New York International Auto Show audience the partners intend to offer 10 vehicles with “significant autonomous drive functionality” by 2020.

According to Ghosn, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will begin to roll out increasingly advanced version of its technology over the next four years, starting with cars capable of operating hands-free in a single lane on limited-access highways. The next step will allow vehicles to pass and change lanes, with the alliance’s first, fully autonomous car set to go into production by 2020.

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“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious” about changing technology, said Ghosn, who added that traditional automakers face a series of potential challenges, some posed by an assortment of outside tech companies like Google and Apple.


BMW Strives for 100,000 Electric Vehicles by 2020

EVs needed to meet tougher European emissions standards.

by on Mar.20, 2014

BMW is counting on the i3 and i8 to help the maker meet the EU emission standards in 2020.

Looming tougher emissions standards in Europe has automakers on the continent hustling to find ways to make sure they meet the 2020 mandate. BMW plans to build more than 100,000 electric vehicles annually to achieve the goal.

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told reporters yesterday that the German maker will increase production levels of its i3 and i8 in 2018 in anticipation of getting to 100,000 units annually in order to meet the stricter carbon dioxide emission standards, according to Automotive News.

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BMW wants to cut its average emissions to 105 grams per km by 2020. That would be down from 133g/km last year. The European Union set an industry-wide goal of 95g/km by 2021, down from about 130g/km now. However, the targets are individual to each company depending upon the type of vehicles each produces. (more…)

Nissan, Renault Investing $5 Bil in India, Plan New “Ultra-Low Cost Cars” for Emerging Markets

Japanese and French makers will jointly develop new models.

by on Jul.16, 2013

The new Datsun Go debuts in India.

A day after launching the revival of the once-familiar Datsun brand, Nissan and its French partner Renault are laying out major plans for India and other emerging markets, including a plan to jointly develop a new line of ultra-low cost vehicles that the makers hope will give them a leg up in some of the world’s newest and fastest-growing markets.

Describing himself as “very bullish on India,” Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of both of the automotive partners, outlined plans to invest $5 billion on the subcontinent over the next few years, double what had previously been announced.

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Ghosn said that Nissan, Renault and the reborn Datsun brand and aiming for a 15% share of the Indian market.  Between them, the partners could have as many as 15 to 20 different models in Indian showrooms within the next five years, they indicated.


Renault in Black Despite European Setbacks

But Europe will be an anchor again in 2013, warns Ghosn.

by on Feb.15, 2013

Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn sees good times ahead -- everywhere but in Europe.

The Renault Group posted a profit of €1.7 billion, or $2.27 billion, for 2012 thanks to asset sales and a healthy contribution from affiliated companies, including Nissan and the group’s Russian partner AutoVaz where income tripled last year.

The reasonably strong performance by Renault, the second-largest of the French automakers, came in sharp contrast to its Paris-based rival PSA Peugeot Citroen, which ran up losses of €5.01 billion, or $6.74 billion, last year raising further concerns about its long-term health.

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But both makers will be facing a tough year ahead. After falling to the lowest level since 1995, the European market remains uncertain and is expected to contract by at least 3% in 2013, with the French market down 3% to 5%, forecast Renault Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn.


GM Takes 7% Stake in Peugeot.

Peugeot already looking to expand GM alliance.

by on Mar.28, 2012

GM CEO Dan Akerson and PSA Peugeot Citroen CEO Phillippe Varin.

General Motors now holds a 7% stake of French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, the first critical step in an alliance announced a month ago – and one that the French automaker is already signaling it would like to expand.

GM’s acquisition was linked to a new Peugeot stock offering that the Paris-based maker intended to raise 1 billion Euros ($1.32 billion) in much-needed capital.  In fact, demand for the share issue by Europe’s second-largest automaker ran about 78% above the original target, at 1.78 billion Euros.

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GM now becomes the second-largest shareholder in PSA Peugeot Citroen after the founding Peugeot family.  Represented by several key executives, including chairman Phillippe Varin, the family itself holds a 25% stake – but has 38% of the corporate voting rights.


Nissan Targets Sales of 1.5 Mil Zero-Emission Vehicles by 2017 with Partner Renault

Japanese Maker Aims for Green Leadership.

by on Oct.24, 2011

Nissan -- with French alliance partner Renault -- plans to sell 1.5 million battery cars by 2017.

Nissan has laid out a six-year plan to become the world’s leading “green” automaker, with a target of selling a cumulative 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles by 2017 in partnership with French automaker Renault.

Nissan launched its push late in 2010 with the debut of the Leaf battery-electric vehicle, with Renault set to begin production of its own BEVs in the months ahead.  While sales are expected to barely nudge 20,000 this year, the makers are rapidly ramping up capacity and by mid-decade will be able to produce as many as 450,000 battery cars annually worldwide.

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During a news conference in Tokyo today Carlos Ghosn, who serves as CEO of both makers, announced that the plan calls for Nissan boosting the fuel economy of its typical vehicle 35% compared to 2005 levels.  It also aims to reduce overall CO2 emissions by 20% by 2017.

“More consumers are demanding products in line with their values, including cars and trucks with a lower carbon footprint,” said Ghosn.


Nissan-Renault Launch $1.8 Bil “Brazil Offensive”

Makers aim to double share in booming market by 2016.

by on Oct.06, 2011

Renault's new Duster 4x4 is part of an aggressive product program aimed at Brazil that will see it - and Nissan - launch 23 new models.

Nissan and its alliance partner Renault will invest $1.8 billion in an aggressive campaign to double their market share in the booming Brazilian auto market over the next five years.

Expanding upon earlier announcements, the two makers will launch 23 new models and expand their combined production capacity to 580,000 vehicles annually.

“Brazil represents a tremendous opportunity – both as a manufacturing base and as the home of a new generation of Renault and Nissan customers,” said Carlos Ghosn, who serves as CEO of both Nissan and Renault, during an announcement in Rio de Janeiro. “Brazil weathered the recession and emerged as the clear engine of growth for Latin America in the 21st century. We look forward to contributing to the region’s rapidly evolving manufacturing and technological expertise.”

Fueled by its fast-growing middle-class, automotive demand in Brazil has been red hot and that’s leading makers to commit to invest billions to boost their production capacity.  But could they heading for trouble?  The market has seen some unexpected slowdowns this year which raises concerns about Brazil’s ability to maintain its momentum at a time when much of the rest of the global economy – even China – is showing signs of trouble.

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But Ghosn – who is a Brazilian native – is clearly convinced the market can overcome its problems.  With a population of 190 million, Brazil has become the largest economy in Latin America, in large part due to a 25% growth in its middle class over the past decade.  Vehicle ownership surged from 121 per thousand in 2002 to 158 by 2008.


Mercedes Will Provide Platform for New Infiniti Luxury Car

Daimler ramps up increasingly successful partnership with Renault-Nissan alliance.

by on Sep.14, 2011

Infiniti will use a Mercedes-Benz platform when it goes to production with a compact luxury car based on the striking Etherea concept vehicle.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class platform will be shared with Infiniti which plans to use it as the foundation for a compact luxury offering based on the popular Etherea concept car.

That’s the latest move to emerge from a rapidly expanding alliance between Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG and erstwhile rivals Nissan and Renault, which have made a successful go of their own Euro-Asian alliance.

In an unusual joint appearance, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn provided an update on their 18-month-old strategic partnership and gave a sense of where they hope to go next.

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The three companies will soon begin sharing powertrains, as well as an assortment of vehicle platforms.   But among other things, they are looking at the possibility of pooling efforts on the development of zero-emissions vehicles, the two CEOs suggested.

“We probably haven’t seen as much change in our industry in decades as we have to face now,” said Zetsche in explaining why Daimler, Nissan and Renault have chosen to work together.  So, he added, “By doing (things) together in certain areas we will get even stronger.”

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and his Nissan-Renault counterpart Carlos Ghosn during a Frankfurt Motor Show news conference.


Nissan Americas’ Tavares Named New Renault COO in Wake of Spy Scandal

Renault’s gain could be Nissan’s loss.

by on May.31, 2011

Nissan Americas CEO Carlos Tavares - shown here with the Leaf battery car - will become Renault's new COO.

Carlos Tavares, the chief executive of Nissan Americas, will be heading across the Atlantic to serve as the new chief operating officer of the Japanese maker’s French affiliate, Renault.

The new assignment comes as Renault struggles to shake off the scandal that followed the firing of three senior executives falsely accused of spying for the Chinese.  That brouhaha led to a shake-up of Renault’s top management, including the ouster of COO Patrick Pelata.

The decision to move Tavares back to France has been widely expected, first reporting on it more than six weeks ago.  It’s a homecoming of sorts, Tavares having spent 23 years with the French carmaker before being assigned to the U.S. in 2004.

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The move comes at a critical time for Renault, which had been struggling to regain traction in the European market – and grow its overseas base, especially in China – even before the espionage scandal.  The loss of Pelata threatened to leave a significant void in the carmaker’s senior ranks as the former COO was considered a close confidant and ally to Carlos Ghosn, who serves as chief executive officer for both Renault and Nissan.

In a statement, Ghosn described Taveres’ appointment as “a first step in strengthening Renault’s management.” But his reassignment could be “a significant loss” for Nissan Americas, cautions Deutsche Bank’s Kurt Sanger.


Infiniti Partnering with Red Bull F1 Team

Nissan’s luxury brand betting on Formula One as it stages global roll-out.

by on Feb.28, 2011

Infiniti will partner with F1 champion Red Bull Racing.

Infiniti will be teaming up with last year’s dominant force on the Formula One circuit, the world champion Red Bull Racing team.

While its Japanese rivals have found the F1 racing circuit too rich for their taste, the Nissan luxury brand is betting the world’s most popular motor sports venue can provide an affordable platform to help Infiniti continue its long-awaited global roll-out.

The new deal also pairs Infiniti with its French alliance partner, Renault, which provided the engines that helped Red Bull drive to the Formula One World Championship last year.  It was, in fact, a twin victory, the Red Bull team taking both the team and driver’s championships.

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“Over the mid-term, Infiniti will be simultaneously expanding its global presence and broadening its product range,” explained Senior Vice President Andy Palmer.  “Given these twin ambitions, it is clear that Formula One offers us an unrivalled global communications platform.”