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AP Interview: After a decade, Nissan-Renault alliance revs automakers' expansion, CEO says

AP Interview: After a decade, Nissan-Renault alliance revs automakers' expansion, CEO says

Nearly a decade since its birth, the Nissan-Renault alliance is still defying the skeptics, but the Japanese-French partnership is proving to be more than just an experiment in cross-cultural management, says Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of both companies.
It's now serving as an engine of growth in emerging markets, where the fierce battles in the auto industry are increasingly being fought.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press at Nissan's Tokyo headquarters Thursday, Ghosn could barely stop listing what was in store for the future for the alliance.
In India and Morocco, Nissan and Renault are building vehicle-assembly plants together. In January, they agreed to work together to mass-market electric vehicles in Israel by 2011. Nissan also plans to use Renault diesel engines, a technology where Japanese are behind and Europeans have the lead.
The Renault-Nissan alliance, which began in 1999, is even poised to become the world's No. 3 auto group _ after General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. _ once a deal is finalized in coming weeks for a 25 percent stake in Russia's largest automaker Avtovaz, Ghosn said.
That would put the alliance's worldwide vehicle sales above 7 million vehicles. Now its combined sales of 6.16 million vehicles now stands at No. 5 after GM, Toyota, Ford Motor Co., and Volkswagen AG.
Renault owns 44 percent of Nissan, which in turn owns 15 percent of Renault.
Ghosn said the alliance has worked because the decision-making respected corporate and cultural differences as well as workers' loyalty to each company to produce "win-win" results.
"For us, it's normal," he said with a shrug about the dynamics of working with people from other cultures.
"The company must be better at two than at one," he said, sometimes leaning forward to stress his points, visibly passionate about the alliance.
Ghosn has reason to be proud. He helped revive Nissan from near collapse after being sent in by Renault in 1999. Since then, Nissan has expanded global sales by about 50 percent from about 2.5 million vehicles to nearly 3.7 million vehicles. The automaker is expecting to post a 480 billion yen (US$4.5 billion;


Updated : 2021-05-08 13:36 GMT+08:00