By on January 13, 2012

Doing it “The French Way” apparently referred to oral sex in the 19th century – and this has nothing to do with today’s announcement from  Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn that Renault would not be returning to America. Instead, Renault will focus on cracking another world market.

While Ghosn said that Renault won’t be back for “the forseeable future”, the brand would try its hand at cracking the Chinese market. Renault recently contracted their operations in the UK, slashing 5 models and a third of its dealer network. Ironically, the UK is a big market for the Renaultsport line of hot hatches, and as much as the Megane RS (above) excites us, we’d have to take the rest of the lineup, like the Wind or the Modus along with it.

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21 Comments on “Renault Not Coming Back To America Says CEO Ghosn...”

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    Ghosn probably can’t afford what happened to Fiat in the US.

    But then again, could Fiat afford what happened to Fiat in the US ?

    • 0 avatar

      Respectfully , I don’t understand your comment. Could you elaborate?

      FWIW, personaly I like French cars. Quirky, sometimes, functional at other times. I love the way they go down the highway. So I think America is missing out on a nice experience.

      • 0 avatar
        Oren Weizman

        When Fiat entered the US Market, Fiat’s debt (in 2009) had been downgraded to junk and I know that Chrysler took on an extra 6 billion in debt after the merger I believe.

        A Junk bond means it’s rated so bad that banks cannot legally buy the debt(If I’m not mistaken)because of a high risk of default.

        When Fiat set an objective for sales in the US of 50 000 units for the Fiat 500 and missed it, it meant more than just random numbers thrown out there. Marchionne had predicted 3 billion $ in profit by 2012 for the Group, 2011’s results I believe were 600 million while GM and Ford managed easily over 6 billion each.

        At this point all the signs indicate Peugeot or another company will have to come in to contribute to Fiat-Chrysler ( If you’re to believe Corriere della Serra in Italy ).

        For now, what’s holding Chrysler up is a lot of debt, a lot of speculation and hopefully Marchionne not being as full of doodoo as some claim he is (business week already claims 6 million sales is completely unreasonable for Fiat due to the european slump).

        That is why my post wonders if Fiat can really afford failing in the states.

        Nissan-Renault on the other hand turned in about 3 billion, but I don’t think french cars have the same capital of sympathy Italian cars have ? If Fiat struggled to get to 20 000 cars in 2011, can the Clio or the Megane do any better ? Actually, can anyone guarantee Fiat can sell another 20 000 cars in the US in 2012?

        Anywho … my 2 cents …

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks got it. You make a great point.

        Euro sales are hurting, even in Brazil they had a relatively bad year. I mean they barely kept up with the market. Of course they were hurting as everybody was avoiding buying the Palio which was due to be changed and this hurt them, but I digress.

        Guess time will tell.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s about it. Renault’s departure – and persistent reputation here – is about the same as Fiat’s.

      It would be far more beneficial for Nissan to stay strong and improve, than to attempt a Renault revival here.

  • avatar

    Renault is probably the worst french brand.
    Peugeot makes pretty solid cars and the last years Citroen is pretty good also.
    I don´t trust Renault cars.

    • 0 avatar


      Personally, my favs are Renault. Shockingly, their Dacia cum Renault line is very well adapted to Brazilian condition.

      Meanwhile, Peugeot’s Brazilian line is absolutely out of synch with what they offer the world over. So, for the moment at least, they stink. Bad. In Brazil.

      Citroen, ah Citroen! Do have a soft spot for you!

  • avatar

    2012 is not a good time to be expanding into any car market. The Euro is collapsing, the French government has just gotten downgraded, the only country surviving right now is Germany. Trying to find the billions in order to jump into the US market is going to be difficult.

    The timing is not right.
    The products have to counter so many unknowns.

    I believe we will still be seeing more auto corporation crack ups before this decade ends. 13,000,000 annual sales market is too stingy and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    I see Ghosn as realistic.

  • avatar

    Renault-Nissan already has Nissan (obviously). There’s no reason to have Renault competing in the same spaces in the US market, where Nissan is already well established.

    Fiat is in a different situation. Fiat acquired Chrysler in order to save Fiat, not to rescue Chrysler. Whereas Fiat would like to use Chrysler to expand the reach of its European brands, Renault-Nissan has no such need.

  • avatar

    Screw Renault. When the hell is Citroen going to come over here? I needs me a C6 to toy with the generic Audi/BMW/Benz 8/7/S drivers.

    Pipe dream, I know.

    • 0 avatar

      My Thoughts exactly. A C6 Diesel. But maybe a car tweaked for the US market with room for 5 adults AND cargo space?

      • 0 avatar

        The C6 really jumped out at me when I was last in Europe. Seriously great looking car, but starting at 50K Euros (albeit with a diesel V6), I can see why it’s a relatively rare bird. And with so many comparably dramatically-styled midsized sedans available in the US for much less money, it would be a tough row to hoe. Meanwhile, I found the new Citroen DS line less appealing in person than pictures had lead me to believe. I can’t see PSA coming stateside anytime soon… (although, weirdly, Peugeot Motors America is a member of the transplant automaker lobbying group Global Automakers).

  • avatar


  • avatar

    @Edward: “The C6 really jumped out at me when I was last in Europe”.
    Sure, an elegant car. Would I be a collector I’d buy one. It’s Citroen’s last effort in the luxury class. But even in playful Europe Citroen has difficulties to sell this car, although it certainly has style. But people who’d like to demonstrate their different lifestyle by driving a different car (and can afford it) are a rare species now, soon to be become extinct.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen the odd late-model Peugeot in New Jersey as well. They keep an office in Little Falls, I believe to sell engines for industrial applications. Not easy to find info on them. It’s also the contact address Peugeot gives to locate service facilities in the US.

    Of course, Mack Trucks was acquired by Renault’s truck division, which was then bought up by Volvo with Renault maintaining a stake. Renault sold off their share in Volvo over a year ago, so Renault Trucks is owned by Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      Seán Moloney

      BUT! As far as I know Renault kept 17% of its shares in Volvo Group which gives it 17% of the voting rights, making it still the largest owner of voting rights in Volvo.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah seen Peugeot here in NJ, I contacted them and yeah its there North American headquarters. Wonder if besides selling industrial engines they also had planned for the future on returning back to the NA market. But I guess we will never know ;)

  • avatar

    I’ve seen a number of Renaults in San Diego with Baja California plates. They’re quite head turning compared to the usual drone of cars there. Ditto the Alfa-Romeos I’ve seen there.

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