Renault-Nissan interested in closer ties with General Motors

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 30, 2010

Renault and Nissan Motor may soon have “closer ties” with General Motors Co., according to Le Monde’s interview with Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan. Ghosn was quoted to have said, “Today, I remain open to closer ties with GM." He said that if GM is interested, “they will come to us." Ghosn also said that the global auto crisis was "behind us."

Ghosn divulged that during the crisis, he made a proposal to work with GM when he met with Steve Rattner, who led President Barack Obama's autos bailout task force.

What Rattner wanted instead was for Ghosn to manage GM but he declined since he considered it to be unethical to leave at the height of the crisis. In this interview, Ghosn also said that Renault will soon arrive in China, but not within the next three years. Renault’s alliance partner Nissan has already penetrated the Chinese market.

Like most European carmakers, Renault is preparing to boost its presence in international markets, with a focus on Russia, Brazil and India as demand in Europe is expected to suffer with the end of the scrappage schemes.

Last Monday, Renault Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata told Le Figaro that half its sales may come from outside Europe by 2013, a 40% climb from today.

Ghosn told Le Monde that Nissan is expected to reach sales of 950,000 cars in China this year, a huge jump from selling only about 10,000 units a decade ago. [via autonews - sub. required]

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