avtovaz, carlos ghosn

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Carlos Ghosn named as chairman of the AvtoVAZ board

Renault-Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn is now the chairman of the AvtoVAZ board, the French carmaker said in a statement. The previous chairman and currently head of Russian Technologies, Sergey Chemezov, is now vice chairman. Ghosn's appointment is part of a deal that entails Renault and Nissan taking a majority stake in a joint venture with Russian Technologies that will control 74.5 percent of AvtoVAZ by mid-2014.

Ghosn is hoping that AvtoVAZ could help increase Renault-Nissan’s sales in Russia, where demand for vehicles is expected to further surge in coming years. Demand in Russia is even expected to surpass that in Germany by 2014. The high potential of Russia for further sales growth have reached the attention of a number of carmakers like Renault, Volkswagen Group, Ford Motor Co., prompting them to expand capacity in the country.

Following a meeting of AvtoVAZ general shareholders, Ghosn remarked that the Renault-Nissan alliance is committed to providing the resources and expertise “necessary to transform AvtoVAZ into a world-class” carmaker.

Read the entire article Carlos Ghosn named as chairman of the AvtoVAZ board

Russia is a bloodbath market for carmakers, says Renault-Nissan CEO

Russia has become a place for a "bloodbath" for carmakers, no thanks to a weakening ruble, according to Renault-Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn. He remarked that both Nissan and Renault are not taking orders anymore for some models in Russia, and could even hike the tag for other vehicles if the ruble continues to weaken.

Much worse, a falling ruble is making the Russian auto market shrink further. “It's red ink, people are losing money, all car manufacturers are losing money," Ghosn said. He said that Renault and Nissan are suspending orders on some models until they could see where “this situation is going.”

So far this, the Russian ruble has dropped by around 50 percent against the dollar, placing more pressure to carmakers to sell their products at a higher price while facing lower demand. Carmakers like General Motors, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover have suspended sales in Russia due to the dropping ruble.

Read the entire article Russia is a bloodbath market for carmakers, says Renault-Nissan CEO

AvtoVAZ plans to cut Lada production in next 3 months

AvtoVAZ is planning to trim output of its Lada cars in the next three months by 25,000 units due to dropping demand for new vehicles in Russia. According to AvtoVAZ, it built 47,100 Ladas and 12,100 Renault and Nissan vehicles in July. The company is controlled by the Renault-Nissan alliance.

The Russian carmaker saw sales of Lada vehicles drop 16 percent in the first seven months of 2014 to 220,822 units, according to data from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB). The carmaker remarked in a statement that its workers would still receive their full salaries in the next three months.

AvtoVAZ is not alone in making the move. General Motors recently announced that it would cut production at its factory near St. Petersburg and was reviewing its expansion plans in Russia.

Read the entire article AvtoVAZ plans to cut Lada production in next 3 months

Nissan CEO earned over $10 million last year, on track to become the best-paid Japan executive

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn received over $10 million in total compensation in the fiscal year ended March 2014. Ghosn disclosed at the carmaker’s annual shareholders’ meeting that he received JPY995 million ($9.8 million) in salary and bonuses for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, representing a 0.7-percent rise.

If dividends are included, Ghosn’s total compensation was over JPY1 billion. Ghosn also received EUR2.3 million ($3.13 million at current exchange rates) in compensation in 2013 in his capacity as CEO of Nissan alliance partner Renault.

Ghosn received compensations four times higher than what Toyota President Akio Toyoda earned in the same period despite leading a carmaker which profit just around a fifth. Nissan saw its lowest profit surge among Japanese carmakers in 2013, save for Daihatsu.

Read the entire article Nissan CEO earned over $10 million last year, on track to become the best-paid Japan executive

Analysts believe that Renault-Nissan-AvtoVAZ will be able to withstand the effects of a weakening ruble resulting from the Russia's dispute with Ukraine. A weakening ruble along with a lingering undersupply of locally made parts could affect revenues of foreign carmakers in Russia, as imported parts could become more costly.

The Renault-Nissan alliance, which holds a majority stake in AvtoVAZ, boasts of components localization nearing 100 percent. "Renault may even benefit from price increases forced on less localized peers," Barclays wrote in a report last week. "Renault benefits from a very high level of local sourcing in Russia so that we are fairly protected from the devaluation of the ruble," a company spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe.

The weakening ruble as well as quavering consumer sentiment is already affecting the 2.8 million-unit Russian car market this year even if new sanctions imposed on the country don’t arrive. IHS Automotive is now expects the Russian vehicle market to drop 7 percent this year, from a 3-percent fall forecasted earlier this year before the Ukraine crisis escalated, remarked Carlos Da Silva, IHS’s manager for light vehicle forecasts in Europe.

Read the entire article Renault-Nissan-AvtoVAZ expected to resist weakening ruble in Russia

Self-driving cars won’t hit the road by the end of the decade, so declared Ford's head of advance r&d in Europe, Pim van der Jagt. He expressed doubt on Carlos Ghosn's prediction that Renault-Nissan, or any carmaker -- will have autonomous vehicles ready by 2020.

"All automotive companies are more less moving at the same pace," Pim van der Jagt told Automotive News Europe, claiming that carmakers are still several years from handing over complete control. "The last 20 percent, when you could be fully asleep, that will be the most difficult."

Until then, van der Jagt says the move toward self-driving will be evolutionary, with each successive generation of cars handing over more or less a tenth of control to the next vehicle. He disclosed that Ford's next step after self-parking will be to introduce traffic-jam assistance -- an advanced version of adaptive cruise control that includes automatic steering.

Read the entire article Ford exec casts doubt on Ghosn’s 2020 forecast on self-driving cars

Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ plans to reduce its workforce by 11 percent, or around 7,500 jobs, as it bids to keep profitable in a slumping economy that is hurting the domestic car market, chief executive Bo Andersson, said in a statement. He also remarked that the carmaker has developed "urgent measures" to adjust production, cut costs and tighten control over inventory and working capital.

The biggest cuts will involve manufacturing jobs, with around 5,000 positions to be trimmed via attrition, a hiring freeze and redistribution of the workforce between divisions. The remaining 2,500 will involve managers, specialists and office workers, according to the statement.

"All of AvtoVAZ's processes are being revised," Andersson said. New car sales in Russia dropped 5.5 percent to 2.78 million in 2013, the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses said in a statement, adding that it may fall further to 2.73 million vehicles this year. Sales of AvtoVAZ's Lada brand dropped 15 percent to 456,309 vehicles in 2013. AvtoVAZ reported in October 2013 that it posted a first-half net loss.

Read the entire article AvtoVAZ to reduce Russian workforce by 11%

Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn wants a Japanese leader to replace him as the carmaker’s top honcho. Ghosn has been leading Nissan for 14 years.

After eliminating the Chief Operating Officer post held by Toshiyuki Shiga and reshuffling the carmaker’s top management, he remarked that while Nissan's diverse management is unrivaled by any other manufacturer, it is important to reinstate a Japanese leader at the top when he eventually steps down.

"It's symbolic, and we have plenty of Japanese talent,” Ghosn told Automotive News in an interview. He added that he wants Nissan to be continued to be seen as a Japanese company. He noted that around half of Nissan's top 100 managers are non-Japanese representing 17 nationalities.

Read the entire article Carlos Ghosn wants next Nissan CEO to be Japanese

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA, currently has one right hand at the Japanese carmaker -- chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga. But in the near future, Ghosn will have four right hands at Nissan, after announcing last week that he is eliminating the COO post.

The management overhaul will see Ghosn having four executive vice presidents at Nissan, a decision that came as the Japanese carmaker revised downward its profit outlook at a time when the weaker yen is boosting earnings of the country's exporters.
Ghosn remarked that getting rid of the COO post is an indication of the company's maturity, but the move may also mean the Nissan and Renault will increasingly depend on one man.

Yuuki Sakurai, CEO of Fukoku Capital Management Inc., told Automotive News that Ghosn may want to set up a "single straightforward chain of command" at Nissan instead of "having two captains."

Read the entire article Carlos Ghosn deletes COO post, names 4 deputies for Nissan

Bo Andersson will be the chief executive of Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ, maker of Lada cars, starting December 31, 2013. Andersson, who is succeeding Igor Komarov, will be the first non-Russian to become the top honcho of AvtoVAZ, which is seeking to deepen its link with the Renault-Nissan alliance. The move was announced by AvtoVAZ through a statement following a board meeting led by Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Andersson is currently the CEO of Russian truckmaker and contract maker GAZ Group. Andersson’s mission will be to achieve a 40 percent combined market share in Russia for AvtoVAZ, Renault and Nissan by 2016 -- a target set by Ghosn. Renault and Nissan are currently in the process of acquiring indirect 74.5 percent control of AvtoVAZ under a deal inked in 20112.

Under the agreement, Renault and Nissan would invest RUR23 billion ($710 million). Andersson was a former top purchasing manager at General Motors Co., but left the carmaker in 2009 after Oleg Deripaska tapped him to help restore earnings at GAZ. Andersson was able to reorganize GAZ’s plant in Nizhny Novgorod and made production more competitive. He is also credited for convincing GM, Volkswagen Group and Daimler to build vehicles on its assembly lines.

Read the entire article Bo Andersson will take over as CEO of AvtoVAZ on December 31

The board of Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ has “nominated” Bo Andersson as a possible candidate to replace outgoing chief executive Igor Komarov. Andersson was chief of General Motors Co.'s global purchasing, logistics and supply operations, becoming CEO of bus and truck maker GAZ Group in 2009. In a statement, AvtoVAZ said that board members including chairman Carlos Ghosn – who is CEO of Renault and Nissan -- would recommend Andersson as a potential CEO candidate at the next board meeting.

Renault-Nissan is planning to take control of AvtoVAZ in mid-2014. The Wall Street Journal, citing undisclosed sources, dubbed the board's decision a "nomination" that is "virtually certain to be ratified at the company's next board meeting in early November." Andersson told the Journal via a spokesman that it was "premature" to talk ahead of the board meeting. Andersson has been credited with turning GAZ around by implementing cost-cuts that boosted profits.

AvtoVAZ disclosed that Oleg Lobanov, vice-president for finance, will serve as acting CEO until the board names a new top honcho. According to sources close to AvtovVAZ, Komarov was exiting the carmaker to join a division of Russia's space agency.

Read the entire article AvtoVAZ to nominate Bo Andersson as next CEO

AvtoVAZ, the largest auto manufacturing company in Russia, posted RUR2.6 billion ($80.7 million) in net losses in the first half of 2013, compared to RUR27.4 billion in profits in the same period in 2012. The carmaker’s dismal financial performance in the first six months of 2012 has been attributed to the economic slowdown in Russia, which in effect resulted to the slump in vehicle demand in the carmaker.

New-car sales in Russia have dropped for six straight months. The Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group recently revised downward its sales forecast for the full year 2013 to 2.8 million vehicles, reflecting a drop of 5 percent year-on-year. While this year’s first-half net loss came from lower car sales and increased investments in new models, profit in 2012 was heavily boosted by a non-cash gain from discounting the cost of future debt payments.

As a result of lower sales, AvtoVAZ logged a 7-percent fall in revenue year-on-year to RUR83 billion. The Russian carmaker had earlier said that its sales in Russia slid 10 percent in the first half of the year to 226,729 units. Western carmakers like Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Group have made heavy investments in Russia in the past years, wagering that the vehicle market will surge as owners update their units.

Read the entire article AvtoVAZ logs RUR2.6 billion net loss in first half of 2013

Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said that the decline in the European auto market has stopped and that it’s now expected to achieve some light growth. Ghosn told reporters at the Frankfurt Motor Show that Renault-Nissan agrees with the forecasts from market analysts that the three growth indicators (a buoyant used car market, an increase in the prices of used cars, and an expanding growing new car market) were in line.

Ghosn said that all of the numerous indicators show that the downtrend trend is at its end. He said that the company is presently at the third stage of recovery where new car sales are expected to increase once more. He also thinks that for the next two years, the car industry will stay at this phase and will post a 1 to 2% growth a year.

In the first half of 2013, the European car market declined by 7% more. However, it’s expected to recover to end the year with a 5% drop. Ghosn believes that the “worst is over” and that the figures will increase starting in 2014.

Read the entire article Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn says the European car market has recovered

Renault SA chief executive Carlos Ghosn turned down proposal by Carlos Tavares that the chief operating officer play a broader role at the French carmaker, two people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. Under the proposal, Tavares would have his responsibilities expanded beyond purely operational decision-making, and would include oversight of human resources and legal matters, one of the people told Bloomberg.

Under the proposal, Tavares would still report to Ghosn.  The sources disclosed to Bloomberg that instead of agreeing, Ghosn offered to let Tavares remain as COO at Renault.

Tavares has now exited from Renault and decided instead to seek a top post elsewhere.  The French carmaker is now mulling whether to drop the position of COO completely, another person told Bloomberg.

Read the entire article Carlos Tavares had asked Carlos Ghosn for wider role at Renault

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of both Renault and Nissan, is expecting the car market in Russia to prevail over its current weakness. Car sales in Russia has drop for four months in a row, no thanks to the weakening Russia economy. Moscow-based Association of European Business (AEB) expects the Russian car maker to drop 5 percent in 2013.

The Renault-Nissan CEO, however, remains positive that the market would gain in the longer term, citing low car ownership in Russia. Ghosn told the Vedomosti business daily that he does not doubt that car ownership in Russia should be not less than in Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Less than 300 per 1,000 people own cars in Russia, compared with a European average of 500, Ghosn said, adding that  on the whole, he has “no doubt that the trend is upward." Ghosn is aiming for Renault-Nissan, with the Lada-maker AvtoVAZ, to grab 40 percent of the Russian market.

Read the entire article Renault-Nissan CEO is optimistic in Russia despite slump

Steve Mattin, AvtoVAZ Design Director, plans to lead a styling revolution at Lada to transform the brand’s image. Mattin is aiming to achieve the same feat accomplished by Kia design boss Peter Schreyer in transforming the South Korean brand’s image. Mattin remarked to Automotive News Europe that Kia's rapid sales gain through strong emphasis on design is what he wants to replicate at Lada, which is the best-selling brand in Russia.

Lada’s models have been lashed for having a dull and obsolete design. In fact, The Lada Niva sports utility vehicle has remained virtually the same since it was launched 37 years ago. Mattin said Lada “is now changing and will be clearly seen in the future." He told Automotive News Europe that Lada will undergo an intensive modernization with the introduction of a completely new design language and DNA aimed at changing the image of the brand.

Mattin began his design career with Mercedes-Benz. He was the design head at Volvo from 2005 to 2009. AvtoVAZ named him its design director in 2011. Mattin said that while his challenge AvtoVAZ is the same with the one he had at Volvo -- to give the brand a more desirable look.

Read the entire article AvtoVAZ design chief Steve Mattin wants styling revolution for Lada

The announcement that Carlos Ghosn received JPY988 (EUR7.6 million) for his role as Nissan’s chief executive in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, could further earn the ire of French unions and government officials. The same unions and government officials who were already upset on the EUR2.47 million he received last year as chief executive of Renault.

Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg and union officials said that Ghosn’s pay as Renault CEO was excessive, especially since the French carmaker has implemented a wage freeze in France and is making jobs cuts at its sites in the country. Ghosn agreed to postpone 30-percent of his variable 2012 bonus from Renault until 2016 during discussions with CGT union officials in early 2013.

But CGT representative Ali Kayak told the France Info radio station that Ghosn’s gesture was an insult to French workers, who estimate that Ghosn received EUR27,500 a day in combined pay, which is considered a very high in France. In comparison, Toyota president Akio Toyoda only received JPY184 million and Honda chief executive Takanobu Ito got JPY145 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Read the entire article Carlos Ghosn’s payment may earn further ire in France

Carlos Ghosn received a total of JPY988 million ($10 million) in salary and bonuses for his role as chief executive of Japanese carmaker Nissan for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. Ghosn's pay for the previous fiscal year reflects a 0.1 percent rise, which came on heels of the carmaker's performance during the period when its operating profit margin dropped to 5.4 percent.

Ghosn's compensation places him on track to be among the highest-paid executives in Japan. In comparison, Toyota president Akio Toyoda received JPY184 million ($1.9 million) while Honda president Takanobu Ito got JPY145 million for the fiscal year ended March 2013.

Nissan, however, noted that Ghosn's pay is lower than the industry average. Nissan, citing estimates at consultant Towers Watson & Co., said that comparable global carmakers paid their CEOs an average of $15.3 million in 2012.

Read the entire article Nissan paid CEO Carlos Ghosn $10 million in last fiscal year

Carlos Ghosn expects to break records this year when it comes to Nissan’s annual retail sales worldwide but then he believes that it will be challenging year for the European market. Ghosn is the chief of Nissan and Renault.

After the release of Nissan’s earnings for the fourth quarter, Ghosn said at a news conference at its headquarters in Yokohama that 2013 will be “tough” and that he doesn’t predict a growth in Europe before the end of Nissan's mid-term plan, which indicates that it won’t be before 2016 and may arrive even later.

Ghosn also said that the European consumer is confused and doesn’t have enough confidence. Nissan, which is the No. 2 largest automaker by sales volume, estimates that for the business year that ends in March 2014, it will have global retail sales of 5.3 million vehicles.

Read the entire article Carlos Ghosn expects Nissan to break sales records this year

CEO Carlos Ghosn blames the political tension between China and Japan for the one-year delay for Nissan to achieve a 10% market share in China. Ghosn was at the sidelines of the New York auto show when he made this statement. So instead of targeting 2016, Ghosn said that the Nissan team now has up to 2017.

Nissan is the leading Japanese automaker in China, making up from 6.5% to 7% of the market share in the world's largest auto market. Nissan had a 7.6% market share in China in the quarter that ended in June 2012, which was before the dispute arose between the two countries.

Last Wednesday, Ghosn said that as Nissan lost one year, he is allowing them one additional year to get to this target with the hopes that there will be improvements in the relationship between Japan and China.

Read the entire article Nissan CEO: China-Japan political tensions delays growth plan by one year