Nissan's Carlos Ghosn: Big Three Headed for Bankruptcy

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
nissan s carlos ghosn big three headed for bankruptcy

The Wall Street Journal's "Boss Talk" chin wag with Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn begins innocently enough, providing a potted history of the Brazilian-born exec's career to date. As soon as the Q & A starts, things get ugly– for Detroit. "WSJ: Who is hurting the most in this market? Mr. Ghosn: Obviously, the Big Three. So how much more are they going to be able to sustain this kind of pressure and what's going to happen? That's a very important question for all the industry. WSJ: Can all the auto makers survive in such a difficult environment? Mr. Ghosn: No." And then, "WSJ: When it's all over, is there a native U.S. auto industry? Mr. Ghosn: Frankly, I don't know. I can tell you it's going to be very different from today. But whether there is going to be one left or two left or none left I don't know." Huh.

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4 of 19 comments
  • Detroit1701 Detroit1701 on Jan 28, 2008

    Great. A peddler of cheap, plasticky Nissans and Renaults taking shots on the Big Three. Ghosn is fortunate to have the luck of catering to either: (a) uninformed automotive purchasers in North America; and (b) a French market that will buy Renaults no matter how poorly they are designed or built. Nissans do not lead in any category of automobile in any class. It swoons naive buyers with cars that look more expensive than they are. The Altima certaintly does not outclass the Fusion, Malibu, or the CamCord. So Ghosn, please keep your opinions to yourself.

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Jan 28, 2008

    So Detroit1701 if people buy a Nissan they are naive and uninformed but let me guess if they buy a vehicle you like they are wise and informed? Maybe just maybe some people have different tastes needs and desires than you. Also, Ghosen didn't just throw out that opinion to piss off former big 3 fans but he was specifically asked by the WSJ that question. Whats he suppose to do not answer it?

  • 50merc 50merc on Jan 28, 2008

    Ghosn has additional credibility, because he's actually rescued a global auto company that was sliding into bankruptcy. He understands what it takes to survive in that industry. Hammering down costs is part of it. Sometimes it means going outside the box: "It is impossible with French engineers or Japanese engineers to do a $2,500 car because it's quite a mindset. So what we said is Indians have to do that." As for Nissan's alleged inferiority, one can note that Consumer Reports just ranked it at the top among mainstream sedans.

  • NetGenHoon NetGenHoon on Jan 28, 2008

    Also, for Nissan backing. The Z, the VQ (engine, not any specific model), GT-R, and G35/37. Are all very good price/performance choices. Infiniti has shown that platform sharing isn't always a bad thing. Nissan puts its product where its mouth is. Ghosn talks sense.