French Paper Expects Rolling Heads At Renault As Board Convenes

Renault has scheduled an extraordinary board meeting for today, Monday, French media reports. The meeting will deal with the spy scandal that turned out to be a fraud. On Sunday, France’s Journal Du Dimanche speculated that the heads of COO Patrick Pelata, legal affairs chief Christian Husson, HR chief Jean-Yves Coudriou and security chief Remi Pagnie could be on the block after they were implicated in a letter from jail, written by Dominique Gevrey. The investigator had been hired by Renault, and was subsequently arrested on suspicions of fraud.

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Nikkei All Messed Up: No Nissan-Renault Holding Co.

The Nikkei must have had too much sake at Yokohama’s famous seaside watering holes after they finished an interview with Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn yesterday evening. Their reports of an imminent merger of the two (and sundry others) under a joint holding company turn out to be utter nonsense, or rather “a misinterpretation of a wide-ranging interview,“ as Rachel Konrad, Director of Communications of the Renault Nissan Alliance, tells us in more elegant words.

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Watch Out, Toyota And GM: Nissan And Renault To Tie The Knot. (Update: They Won't)

Caution: This Nikkei story has been debunked by Nissan.

Often considered, more than often denied, now it’s on the table again: Nissan and Renault, having lived in an open relationship with a joint CEO since 1999, could move under the umbrella of a common holding company. Joint CEO Carlos Ghosn told that to The Nikkei [sub] late Wednesday night in Yokohama. The managements of Nissan and Renault seem convinced that this is the way to go. However, there is a lot of work to be done before the wedding will become official.

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French Government Does Not Want To "Destabilize Renault Further". Ghosn Stays

The French government has its hands full pounding Gadaffi’s tanks and artillery pieces into pulp. At the same time, the French government decided not to destabilize carmaker Renault. French Industry Minister Eric Besson said the latter part when he was asked whether he’s calling for Carlos Ghosn’s head after the espionage scandal had turned into a farce.

“As industry minister, I hear the voice of the people asking for punishment, but the industry minister’s greater concern at this time is not to destabilize Renault any further,” Besson told RFI radio ( via Reuters) in an interview.

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Was The Renault Spy Scare A Scam?

Within days of breaking, the Renault Spy Scandal has been in “ full reverse,” and now it seems the story is becoming even more embarrassing than we had even imagined. The last time we looked at the case, Bertel forwarded two possible theories for the “farce”: either Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn wanted a distraction from a soft Nissan Leaf EV launch, or someone inside the company wanted to sabotage Ghosn. Now a new theory takes the farce to nearly unimaginable levels…

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Carlos Ghosn Shocks The WSJ

Carlos Ghosn has the Wall Street Journal flabbergasted. To the utter dismay of the WSJ, Ghosn said that Nissan is talking to their joint venture partner Dongfeng about transferring lithium-ion battery know-how and other electric-car technology to the joint venture. Even more worrisome to the WSJ is Ghosn’s statement that “there’s no limit to technology we bring to China.”

According to the WSJ, “Ghosn’s remarks on electric vehicles, at a news conference Monday, come amid worries by many foreign auto executives about a ten-year plan China is drafting for the electric-vehicle industry that they fear could compel foreign companies to transfer technology to local joint ventures in a way that might result in their losing control of the technology.”

These worries are either worries by junior executives, or the imagination of even greener Wall Street Journal reporters.

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Into The Future With Nostra Carlos

Within the Renault-Nissan alliance, Carlos Ghosn must have felt like he was the king. He and Louis Schweitzer were the architects of the fourth largest car making entity in the world. Then the Board of Directors chopped his legs out by vetoing his deal with Roger Penske to supply Saturn with Renault cars and, suddenly, Carlos Ghosn had a very sharp lesson. In the Renault-Nissan alliance, no-one is too big to fail. So when it came to his re-election as CEO, no-one thought it was a cut and dried affair. Well, on Thursday the 29/04/2010, Mr Ghosn received his second term at Renault. And he set out some targets to show the BoD he means business.

Reuters reports that over his next 4 year term, Ghosn envisions the following:

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EV News – Ghosn: I Have No Competition; GM's Reuss: Volt Will Give Way To BEVs; DBank: Battery Prices To Plummet

In typical Carlos Ghosn style, the father of the Nissan EV throws down the gauntlet. quotes him from a talk with reporters:

“Frankly, I mean so far there is no competition. Let’s be serious. It’s not because someone is coming with a prototype and one car that this is competition. The question is how much capacity are you building. What I am sure is that in 2011, I am going to be the only one on the market”.

In that regard, Ghosn has put production capacity where his mouth is with Nissan planning on 500k in global sales by 2012: “The numbers are big,” Ghosn said. As a frame of reference, GM has indicated production of 8k Volts in 2011, and an ability to ramp up to about 50k annually thereafter. Did GM bet on the wrong horse with its smaller battery but range-extending generator equipped Volt? GM NA Prez suggests that might well turn out to be the case.

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Ghosn: It's Good To Be A King

In order to save Nissan from certain death in 1999, Renault dispatched Carlos Ghosn to Japan to take over as COO. The French-Lebanese Brazilian was promoted President of the Nipponese carmaker, and CEO in June 2001. In Japan, he had shocked the conservatives, later he became a cult figure, a gaijin shogun. He was even immortalised in a manga. In 2005, Ghosn was crowned King of the Realm and became CEO of Renault.

So, you’d think by now that Monsieur Ghosn-sama is sick to death of the Franco-Nipponese alliance? And that the 55 year old will retire to the South of France?

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Suzuki, Ready To Get Married

Today’s Nikkei [sub] agrees with the TTAC commentariat that Suzuki is overripe for a takeover. “Now that Suzuki has dissolved its joint venture assembly plant with General Motors Co. in Canada, the Japanese automaker, with its long presence in emerging markets and strength in subcompacts, appears an attractive partner for an alliance.”

No kidding. As it has been pointed out by TTAC’s Best & Brightest, Suzuki has what other makers need, and Suzuki needs what other makers have.

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Renault Joins AvtoVAZ Bailout

Renault may be playing Russian Roulette, but at least it seems the French automaker is finally playing nicely with Avtovaz and the Kremlin. Maybe the thought of ending up like Mikhail Khodorkovsky spurred Carlos Ghosn into action? Or maybe Ghosn came around when he found out that the Kremlin is going to put $1.7 billion into the ailing Russian car maker. The St. Petersburg Times reports that Renault will invest a mere €300 million in the form of of a technology transfer so that Avtovaz can start building the Logan, Renault’s smash hit in Eastern Europe. It’s like the Fiat-Chrysler deal, only cheaper! Renault will also help Avtovaz develop a new car to replace the Zhiguli (I’d never heard of it, either). Some of this production will happen in Russia’s far east and Renault’s Japanese subsidiary is there to help!

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  • Redapple2 I m OK with State Inspections, OF 7 , 8 OR HOWEVER OLD CARS. I get a new car every 3-5 years. Well, that aint right. When I lived in NY, it would really fry my butt to be compelled to have my new car inspected. Add in 9% sales tax ( after i ve already paid ~50% on the money when I made it - so- i had to make $2 to have $1 in my pocket- So, net it back upward? > it s a 18% tax.) Add in massive property tax, state income tax. Brutal winters. I voted with my feet. Off topic a little. Sorry.
  • Adamscotthi Thanks a lot for article!
  • MaintenanceCosts This class of car competes hard with Chargers/Challengers and modded diesel pickups for the douchey-driving crown.
  • 28-Cars-Later Corey - I think I am going to issue a fatwa demanding a cool kids car meetup in July somewhere in the Ohio region.
  • Master Baiter Might as well light 50 $100 bills on fire.