AM Online

Ghosn looking for alliances

Nissan is planning more alliances following the success of the tie-up with Renault.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of both companies, told AM last week that independent research had shown that the Franco-Japanese company is the only alliance in motor industry history to have created value.

All previous major mergers had destroyed valued, he said.

Ghosn has regularly said that he would want a joint venture in the US ideally to tie together the three major car producer areas of the world, and has held talks with GM, Ford and Chrysler.

But the move that occurred was the acquisition of a controlling stake in Avtovaz, the Lada manufacturer in Russia.

The justification for alliances was the savings to be had from the sharing of platforms, engines and components.

“Russia is a very hot market but it will also want to buy technology from the alliance,” he said.

“We are at 7 million cars a year between us, so we already have scale in global terms.

But do not be surprised if we do another alliance.”

He said that he had done a deal in the US for a vehicle swap with a manufacturer he declined to name.

“We are to build a small car for them and they will make a large truck for us.”

The implication was that the collaborator is Chrysler.

Ghosn is also working on an electric car with on-board range-extender engine and is in talks with municipal authorities, companies and countries.

“Israel and Denmark have been very clear about what they want,” he said.

What the electric vehicle user wants is simple recharge and battery exchange arrangements and incentives to be carbon neutral.

Ghosn disclosed that Israel and Denmark would be mass-marketing within four years.

“An electric car without a battery must be the same cost as a normal car and the cost of the battery and its charge must be cheaper than petrol,” he said.

His design of car will have a carbon-free range of 100kms and four to five times that with the range extender.

Ghosn has also signed an alliance with Japanese consumer electronics company NEC Corporation to form the Automotive Electric Supply Company which will generate the battery technology.

Ghosn wants to be sure that he has volume demand for his cars before he starts producing them.

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