Ghosn Kowtows To French Government, Promises Nice, Domestically Produced Luxury Car

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Bloomberg reports:

Renault SA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn agreed to make development of upscale cars for French factories a “priority” as the government steps up its influence in the wake of a botched spy investigation.

Renault, based in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, named Carlos Tavares as Ghosn’s deputy late yesterday. The French state, the carmaker’s biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake, made support for the appointment conditional on strategy changes, including taking a stronger lead in its alliance with Nissan Motor Co., people familiar with the situation said.

“If it’s this hard just to get your man in place, it suggests we’ll see more, rather than less, government influence going forward,” London-based Credit Suisse analyst Erich Hauser said. France is a “relatively small shareholder with a disproportionate say over strategy, which has to be a concern for other investors.”

…Ghosn said he intends to be “more present in France from now on,” in an interview published today in French daily Le Parisien and confirmed by Renault.

In the face of such ( continued) humiliation at the hands of a minority government partner, one has to admit that America’s auto bailout has been an relatively hands-off affair. Context is important after all (although to be perfectly fair, Renault did embarrass the French government with that “spy scandal”). Besides, it sounds like the brave French pols are simply out to avenge the sad death of the Vel Satis, so hey, at least the French might get the epically weird luxury sedan to end all epically weird luxury sedans out of the deal.

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6 of 19 comments
  • Bryce Chessum Bryce Chessum on Jun 01, 2011

    Poor Renault saddled with Nissan hope they steer clear of Nissan powertrains and their awful cvt transmissions Citroen already build luxury cars as do Peugeot why force renault out of their comfort zone

    • See 1 previous
    • Charly Charly on Jun 01, 2011

      @obruni In Europe nobody uses an automatic. It is as rare as a stick in America but at least a stick is manly

  • Obruni Obruni on Jun 01, 2011

    Renault already has an overpriced flagship that no one buys: the Lattitude. They really don't need another one.

  • Charly Charly on Jun 01, 2011

    Isn't Samsung supposed to make the luxury cars?

  • BklynPete BklynPete on Jun 02, 2011

    Until that picture, I never noticed how Sarkozy has an uncanny resemblance to creepy NY congressman Anthony Weiner of "Weinergate" fame. Why do these guys get all the hot girls?