By on May 9, 2014

Carlos Ghosn speaks -07. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Re-appointed through 2018 last month by Renault-Nissan shareholders by a margin of 85 percent, CEO Carlos Ghosn has adjusted his sights on Volkswagen, General Motors and Toyota in an effort to take one of their spots as a member of the Global Three.

Automotive News reports the No. 4 automaker has a ways to go before taking the lowest spot on the podium; in 2013, Renault-Nissan moved 8.3 million off the lot behind VW’s 9.73 million, Toyota’s 9.98 million and GM’s 9.71 million. The Franco-Japanese automaker also relies heavily upon its Nissan division for the majority of sales and profits, Nissan having remained the same size as it was when the alliance formed in 1999 while doubling sales and reaping the rewards over the years.

Meanwhile, Renault struggled to move toward its goal of 3 million cars sold globally in 2013, falling 370,000 units short. Stalled sales of the Zoe EV, the loss of COO Carlos Tavares to PSA Peugeot Citroën, and poor handling of the crisis involving high-level executives falsely accused of stealing corporate secrets — leading to the forced departure of previous COO Patrick Pelata — also dinged both Renault and Ghosn.

On the plus side, Ghosn managed to keep Renault’s manufacturing in its native France, with plans to boost local production by 180,000 units by 2016, as well as helped the French brand meet its cash flow target of 2.5 billion euros over the past three years. While the Zoe may have been a bust, Ghosn proclaimed Renault was still the No. 1 seller of EVs in the European market, accounting for 37 percent to 42 percent of the local market; the alliance has an overall 60 percent of the global EV market. Finally, the CEO believes Renault will see 50 billion euros in revenue by 2017, compared to 41 billion euros in 2013.

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40 Comments on “Ghosn To Fight For Position Atop Global Three Podium...”


  • avatar

    Renault’s position ain’t too bad. With growing sales in South América, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean world, it didn’t hit the numbers because most of it’s Euro market is soft. Anyway, it’s not like most Renault-nissan are that distinguishable. The.two companies have achieved great collaboration, and parts are shared across many lines. What they have to do is craca Índia and they’ll put the pressure on the Big 3.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      India might be a tough nut for Renault to crack, but Africa is closer to home. Peugeot has lost most of its formerly large African market, but Renault would have to crack the Hilux dominance there to have a chance.

      • 0 avatar

        they have been making in-roads. They’re just using Nissan (Terrano) and Datsun to do it.

        Have a look:
        bestsellingcarsblog com/2014/05/09/india-april-2014-hyundai-xcent-shoots-up-to-6-datsun-go-up-30/

      • 0 avatar
        romismak

        Lorenzo, actually Renault-nissan are No.1 in Africa, close to 300 thousand, while Toyota is about 250thousand, about that Hilux, well Renault has no pickup and Toyota´s challenge in that segment are pickups from Nissan and Mitsubishi- maybe Ford in future

    • 0 avatar
      romismak

      Marcelo

      Hi, agree about Renault, their position isn´t so bad and Europe should be growing or stagnating, not falling again, in next years Renault will come to China-producing there, probably will be back in Iran, South America still should grow, currently ARG-BRAZ are in trouble but mid-term long-term at least Brazil should go to 4.5m i think.

      Agree about India, besides China and ASEAN, India should be 3rd market with potential, India is still small market where 1 player is just to big – 43%Maruti, so potential in India is, i think Renault-Nissan-Datsun as 3 brands together they could eventually became No.3 after Maruti and Hyundai. I mean Toyota,Tata, Mahindra are definitely beatable in volume speaking, Datsun selling cheap cars -volume cars, Renault – Nissan brands focusing on all segments, seads, hatch-backs, SUV´s i really thing Renault-Nisan should be No.3 in India and than question is how big growht will India have in next decade, they go out of nowhere from 2.5m to 5m who knows.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey romismak, the market has to reach that number. Soon! After all is said and done, the next years will see an installed capacity of 6 million cars a year. Or we start exporting more, or the market grows because a production of 4.5 million vs a capacity of 6 is not a good thing.

        • 0 avatar
          romismak

          Well i don´t have now stats here or Anfavea open, but i can ´t see your country to export so much, even ARG is lookinig bad right now, maybe if Mercosul will be bigger and have new members-most of South America it can help, right now how many vehicles are you exporting? i guess 3/4 million to ARG-Chile-Mexico mostly?

          About that installed capacity, it looks like every major automakers + chiinese wants to have plants in BRAZ, they hoped for growht, but what happened 2012 record, 2013 down, 2014 probably down or about 0% growth, ARG – as biggest export market in difficult times, i think it´s similar to Russia and India, every majot automaker few years ago wanted to have plants in BRIC countries for big growht in future but so far only China delivers and others have problems

          Also maybe you can explain to me what´s that BRAZ stuff with duties – i read many times cars in your country are to expensive, it all about duties, tax ?

          • 0 avatar

            It can be done, like it was in the past. Like a Fiat exec once told me, why export when the market here pays more? If push comes o shove, they could seek out those markets again. Of course it’s not as easy as snipping your fingers, but…

            ARG, CHL and MEX do seem to be the main export markets, but we do export to others. Officially Veneuela, Bolivia and the Andean Community (though we’re wary of that due to their agreement with the US) are all associate members of Mercosul. We do have a free trade agreement with South Africa. VW exported the Gol to Russia until recently at least and Fiat exports the Strada to Western Europe. As recently as the late 90s (?) VW exported to the US.

            ARG is doing to Brazil what we did with Mexico. As the trade balance is very favorable to us, they shut it down. Seems like Brazil extended them some lines of credit and that has been pacified.

            Taxes. I was told taxes here are equivalent to taxes in France, maybe a bit stiffer. But the margins are very healthy. A mid grade 1.0 Logan here sells for the same price as a loaded 1.6 one in Europe. A Honda City produced here sells for around 55k reais, exported to Argentina, sells for about 40. In Chile the same car goes for around 35, while in Mexico it tops out at 28-ish. So taxes are part, but not all.

            As to tariffs, those that produce here get tax breaks. Those who don’t pay in full. Those who produce here, invest and transfer technology are allowed to impoort duty free up to and contingent to their level of investment, tech transfers. They get quotas. If they want to import above the quotas they can but must pay full tariff.

            Another example, the Mexico produced Golf sells here for 70k plus reais. Yeah, taxes, but not only.

        • 0 avatar
          romismak

          Don´t have reply under that last post,

          Thank you very much for explaining this stuff to me, really appreciate it.

          I remember reading somewhere about those prices – how you mentioned the same car in ARG, Mexico or US cost far less, maybe with normal prices for cars market would be already about 4 million who knows, but really high prices for ordinary cars – basic cars small hatch-backs, sedans you can have in Europe definitely ,,premium,, package or engine and so on.

          Well labor is cheaper than in Europe, you have materials, everything steel, big industry that can supply components, really weird this price level in Brazil for basic cars, just right now have opened vW and fiat BR websites, checking prices, EURO echange rate is 3 really expensive cars :D

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    “On the plus side, Ghosn managed to keep Renault’s manufacturing in its native France”

    how is having much production in a strike-ridden (with hostage taking and hostage takers not even being charged!) country that desires nothing more than a 25-hour work week on the plus side? Maybe on the plus side for France, but certainly not for Renault.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Renault/Nissan are doing a lot better than I expected, should be interesting to watch in the future.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Does the French Government still own shares of Renault? I’m asking, I don’t know.

    If so, I understand Goshn’s position.

    On other things…9.71 – 8.3 million = 1.41 million. That still is a very significant amount of vehicles.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    …. as much as I’d love to see this happen . As much as I’d enjoy watching Nissan/Renault kick VW-Audi and GM’s tail end . For as much respect as I have for Mssr . Ghosn …

    … with all the evidence at hand what with Renaults future plans/projects etc falling by the wayside one by one [ including the ubiquitous CaterPine travesty ] … the rapid decline of auto sales in the EU [ Renaults main market ] .. the reality that Renaults supposedly successful markets including Brazil etc [ sorry Marcelo de V ... love your country .. but ] are living on borrowed time …… In light of Nissans pretty much non-starter new product line up and the stalling of Infiniti sales … along with the recent failings of Renault /Infiniti in motorsports [ I\'ll bet i know what will be in the Red Bulls rear end come 2015 ... and it aint gonna be no Infinti/Nissan/Renault ja wohl ... hint hint ] … the current trend financially Worldwide [ about to plummet ] …

    … errr …. aint never gonna happen . Reality being more likely that Nissan/Renault will slip down another peg before its all said and done . If that is … Nissan/Renault is able to survive the predicted Automotive Culling of the Herd coming in the next 5-10 years . Which according to most financial experts … is somewhat doubtful

    Nissan … may survive to live another day . Renault on the other hand … is Dead Man Walking despite what the so called pundits and automotive spin doctors may say . Unfortunately !

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      C’mon, prove you can laugh at yourself.

      Use Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” for your avatar.

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        Kenmore – Thing is …. using the Picasso …. as cool as that may be is kind of stepping on some toes …. copyright wise . Whereas this one was custom created just por moi by a talented pair from New Zealand and the UK . So thanks for the suggestion …. but like the music I play … I’ll stick with the ‘original ‘

        ( using LJK Setrights mug for a bit was more for effect than a permanent state of things and to make a clear point to both a couple of commentators as well as a few of the staff ]

        FYI Kenmore … I laugh at myself in private and public on a pretty regular basis . I’m about the last person to take myself seriously sometimes . You’ll see when I make a major error here .

        Ask Mitch or Volt 230 . They’ve seen it first hand . I give myself more crap than I could ever deal out to anyone else over an entire lifetime

    • 0 avatar

      gtrslngr, with all due respect, I’ve been reading about this thinning of the herd for decades. Just last weekend i picked up an “anuário” book on the auto industry at Dad’s house, circa 1977-78, and besides showing the major cars for that year, they had some very long, well thought out articles on the future of the industry. Though the cars have changed very much, the themes remained eerily similar. The main points were the “world car” and the “inevitable” disappearance of some known brands. BTW, the article bet that by 2000 there would be 2 Europeans (Fiat and Renault), 2 Americans (GM and Ford) and 2 Japanese (Toyota and Nissan).

      It’s almost like the Ice Age that never came or the global warming of our present day. Yes, there are signs, but it’s by no means a by gone conclusion.

      If memory serves right by the 80s analysts were talking VW and taking Renault out of the survivor’s list. By the 90s, sometimes Honda substituted Nissan. In the 00s some were forecasting only 1 American, 1 European and assorted Asians. In the next few years I bet some Chinese company will make the cut, possibly an Indian one too.

      That’s not to say things don’t change. They do. PSA is in very deep trouble. FCA is fighting. Renault-Nissan, well good sir, I believe they’re growing.

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        Marcelo de V – With all due respect …. there already has been a major league culling of the brands starting back in 70s .. re; AMC – Pontiac – Saturn – Oldsmobile – Mercury – Lister – TVR – Bristol – Simca – Talbot – Lancia [ exists in name only ] – soon to be Chrysler [ as a luxury brand and then completely .. read Marchionnes battle .. urp .. plan ] etc etc et al

        So in fact they were right back then …. and with a rapidly shrinking middle class … financial hell waiting just around the corner [ all those government subsidies propping up economies including ours worldwide will come to an end at some point when the Piper at the Gates of Dawn demands his due ] … resources worldwide being depleted.. pollution etc etc

        Fact is Mr V … we are well over due for another major round of automotive culling once again … and it will come … guaranteed . As for Nissan/Renault . Consult the financial sector … not the automotive for the Truth about Nissan/Renault and you’ll see the real picture is pretty damn bleak . Heck … today the NYTimes just announced none of the F1 teams [ including Red Bull ] are paying Renault/Infinitis bills on time if at all . And …. if you know the inside skinny [ in relation to the Red Bull team(s) .. ] … you’d know why wink wink

        BTW Marcelo de V- Fejuada Normal ! Yum ! We’ve got a fairly decent Brazilian restaurant here in Denver . Cafe Brazil . Though in truth they were better and a lot more authentic back when Varig did much of its pilot training here . And oh that Angel Hair pasta dish with Lemon/ Cilantro sauce . That one at least though I’ve learned how to make myself . The wife loves it !

        • 0 avatar

          Hey gtrslngr, can’t dispute any of what you say. Don’t you think though that maybe some of the smaller ones may go first? Suzuki, Mazda, even Mitsubishi. Even BMW is mentioned from time to time as there will soon be a family succession there then all bets are off. Anyways, I hear what you’re saying. Let’s see how it goes down.

          Who will supply Red Bull next year? F1 is in trouble! Many pilots paying to run, mechanics not getting paid. What a mess.

          Feijoada. Now I’m hungry. Love massa cabelo de anjo!

          • 0 avatar
            gtrslngr

            Marcelo de V

            Actually its looking more like the ones that have become Too Big to Get Out of Their Own Way will be the first to go down . Imploding under the weight of their own ineptitude such as … well … GM comes to mind at the top of the list …. VW-Audis working awfully hard to get there … PSA is well on their way .. with FCA hot on their heels … Renault soon to follow .. JLR unless they are sold toot suite .. etc . No … according to the financials that know of what they speak . Its the Lean , Mean , Fighting Machines with lots of cash in reserve that will survive the onslaught once it hits full on

            F1 ! Where does one begin ? Their ills presently being too many to list/discuss in a format such as this … despite all the rhetoric from the likes of Joe Saward etc . A ship sinking under its own weight and too deluded by its former glory to realize it

            Red Bull . First and foremost . DM may very well pull the plug . What with this years favoritism shown to Mercedes AMG [ funny enough after three years of the Daimler Mercedes board debating whether continued involvement in F1 was a worthwhile endeavor ] … the sanctions against Red Bull over the last 3 seasons as well as the overall F1 political climate .

            But if he does not pull the plug . He may be saying sayonara to Infiniti ..au revoir to Renault as a whole …. and saying Ja Wohl to …. well … I’ll bet you can suss that one out … wink wink

            Basta !

          • 0 avatar

            Gotcha, good sir!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Funny that those old predictions are similar to what Sergio and others are saying, that there will only be 5 or 6 global car companies, with a minimum of 6 million annual sales. A lot of the brands gtrslngr mentions were not car companies but nameplates. Sure, companies have merged, but who knew back in ’78 that Suzuki would be such a big player in India, or the Koreans would produce Hyundai/Kia, and don’t forget the Chinese makers who will bust out eventually, maybe with nameplates like Volvo, MG, or even Saab.

  • avatar
    romismak

    Last year i would say no way, they should focus to mantain No.4, because Hyundai-Kia is catching up fast. So far this year Europe is growing again- that boosted Renault + Datsun so far in India is looking great and i think it will be good volume + for Nissan part of alliance. Avtovaz isn´t growing nowhere, they can produce Nissan´s Datsuns or Renaults´s but Lada brand is just regional RUS-KAZ brand loosing share eventually to better foreing brands. I think Toyota, GM, VW are to far ahead – also we must look at where the growht will be in next 10 years for example-China – where is VW and GM are biggest will benefit most in total numbers, Toyota is biggest player in Middle east and ASEAN – another booming region- yes Thailand is now in horrible conditions but in mid-term long-term Thailand will remain big market 2nd biggest in ASEAN and Indonesia´s potential is enourmous and Toyota-Daihatsu-Hino have over 50% of market there

    For 2014 i expect Top 3 to grow beyond 10m, Toyota probably 1st with 10.3, VWG maybe 10.2 and GM maybe 10.1m, than Renault-Nissan i expect more than 8.5m, Hyundai-Kia close to 8million- i can´t see Renault-Nissan to get bigger than top 3, but i can see Hyundai-Kia overtake Renault-Nissan. But this should be top 5 also in 10-15 years unless some mergers will shake up ranking again.

  • avatar

    On the photo above Ghosn looks like Godzilla unleashed. God help us.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      That’s just his Brazilian/French/Lebanese intensity. He doesn’t breathe fire, though, and in all his trips to Japan, he’s never stomped on the Tokyo business district.

  • avatar
    RHD

    The race to No. 1 all too often leaves product quality behind (a la VW, Toyota and GM). Nissan et al should focus on excellence first, and with a solid foundation of satisfied repeat customers, enjoy a profitable business without the otherwise inevitable recalls and scandals.


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