Carlos Ghosn: GM Merger? Non. Chrysler? Peut-tre…

Adrian Imonti
by Adrian Imonti
carlos ghosn gm merger non chrysler peut tre

Carlos Ghosn wants your help, and he isn’t shy about asking for it. In an interview yesterday with The Wall Street Journal, the Renault-Nissan chief announced his intentions to obtain a €40b ($50b) loan package from the French government, in addition to some undisclosed additional quantity of yen from their Japanese counterparts. Today, before a packed house during his keynote address at the LA Auto Show, Ghosn continued along this path, turning his attention to obtaining tax credits and other government assistance here Stateside. Citing October 2008 as the worst month for US car sales in the last 25 years, Ghosn claimed that the severity of current economic conditions were “putting the usual rules of business up in the air” and that “nobody knows” how long these conditions would continue. As he tore a page from Detroit’s eco-efficiency bailout pitch book, Ghosn stressed retooling for the development of Earth-friendly technology as a key driver for receiving state support.


Monsieur “Le Cost Killer” unabashedly advocated a shift in focus away from hybrids — in other words, Toyota — toward pure electrics, stating unequivocally that the “end game is zero emissions…absolutely no emissions.” Naturally, Renault-Nissan won’t be picking up the full tab of the required build out, due to the “interdependence between automaker, government and…third parties” that necessitates that those infrastructure costs be shared. With Nissan’s “GT 2012” business plan centered on building pure electric vehicles, rather than hybrids, you can guess which company stands to benefit most from this proposal.

But wait, there’s more!

Ghosn unveiled a new initiative involving the State of Oregon to support electric vehicle sales there. In accordance with this effort, State governor Ted Kulongoski will be supporting the replacement of The Beaver State’s $1,500 hybrid credit with a $5k incentive for EV buyers. Nissan plans an electric vehicle launch in 2010. These EV’s would be sold using a plan markedly similar to one previously considered by General Motors, which calls for the lithium ion batteries to be leased, including periodic replacement as the technology evolves.

Just don’t look for a future marriage involving the General. When questioned by TTAC, Ghosn politely but openly shot down the notion of a future alliance with General Motors, referencing the failure of his 2006 talks with GM CEO Rick Wagoner as evidence that no alliance could succeed “if there is no mental appetite.” In light of Red Ink Rick’s steadfast refusals to resign, we can only guess who wasn’t craving that meal.

Ghosn was notably more open to a possible deal involving Chrysler, citing the Auburn Hills’ truck portfolio as one of several reasons to possibly pursue a future partnership. Just don’t expect one yet: with the financial markets in turmoil, Ghosn cautioned, “I don’t think that you’ll find any strategic initiation, no matter how attractive it is.”

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  • Autonut Autonut on Nov 19, 2008

    I think Ghosn is the only automotive executive with any credibility. He turned around Nissan and then did the same with Renault. Granted it is the wealthiest who will survive recession and Renault/Nissan is not one of those, but combined entity has a better fighting chance then GM & Ford combined. Theoretically Chrysler could survive through largess of Cerberus, but Cerberus is a private company and we don't know if those largess are cash in the bank or some swaps.

  • John Horner John Horner on Nov 19, 2008

    The original article talks about a request for billions, not millions. " ... €40 billion ($50 billion ... )"

  • Bkojote Oil cartel prices have been the best incentive for switching to an EV this year.
  • Arthur Dailey https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/news/type-4-marked-beginning-end-air-cooled-volkswagens/ 'In its marketing VW highlighted the Type IV's upscale features like draft-free air circulation, a thermostat-controlled auxiliary heat system, and six-way adjustable front seats that were able to fully recline. The 411 had front and rear crumple zones, a padded instrument panel, a collapsible steering column and steering wheel with padded spokes. Brochures touted the 411’s suspension as being similar to that of the Porsche 911, but with a focus on stability rather than speed. Complete with an independent suspension with MacPherson struts and coil springs in front, as well as a coil-sprung trailing wishbone rear suspension with double-jointed axles and an anti-roll bar. Eleven-inch front disc brakes, plus rear drums, hid behind 15 x 4.5-inch wheels mounting radial tires. 'For carrying stuff, the Type 4 sedan was shockingly adept, having a 14.1-cubic-foot trunk in front, plus 6 cu.ft. of space behind the rear seat. The wagon was even better, carrying around 48 cu.ft. inside with the rear seat folded. 'The original Type IV did have traditional controls. Modern controls were added in later production models. But still in advance of the domestics. Just under 368,000 Type IV's were sold.
  • Cprescott Union workers are only concerned about themselves. They don't care who else gets hurt when they throw a tantrum, er, strike.
  • SCE to AUX Not sure where that photo came from, but it wasn't Canada.
  • Arthur Dailey Very few probably share my view, but I believe that the T-roof option is well worth that price.Bring back T-Tops!!!!!!!!
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