Renault on the radar

I’m not trying to stir up trouble here, and I’m quite confident that GM do have a plan for Saab that stretches into the future. I’m even fairly confident that they plan on implementing it!!

But this otherwise rather silly story does contain one quote that’s worth noting, both for it’s content and for who’s saying it.

The who is Carlos Ghosn, head of Renault/Nissan.

The context: a response to a shareholder’s question at the company AGM recently. The shareholder asked, quite directly it seems, about Renault’s interest in buying Saab.

The response:

The industry is not doing well and when that is the case, development, partnerships and purchases can be had more cheaply and we will be watching very closely.

Just because they’re interested doesn’t mean there’s something on the table. There’s nothing going on that I know about, but Ghosn’s take on it is interesting to say the least.

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4 Comments

  1. I was just going to post a link to this in comments–good thing I looked before I posted.
    I worry about Saab losing their uniqueness under GM, but I’m not sure I would feel any better if they were under Renault’s control. I don’t think Renault has a reputation or an interest in making safe cars, just cars that look good and sell, but maybe I’m wrong.

  2. Ted: You’re on the right track. Actually, Ghosen has made quite a reputation for being an efficiency and cost-control guru, not a true car man. He is reviled by many within Nissan USA because he has made a number of controversial decisions to save money or to improve efficiency by moving manufacturing around. We follow his moves around here because Nissan USA is now officially headquartered here in Nashville. He grew tired of paying top-dollar for real estate and talent in Southern California, and the legal and tax environment there is not business-friendly anyway. He rewarded the people at his most efficient plant, the Smyrna, Tennessee facility, with the HQ! Not a popular move, but in keeping with his mentality.

    I think that Ghosen would find a way to sell Saabs. Probably a lot better than the GM marketing department is doing. On the other hand, I think that the 9-3 and 9-5 would become clones of the Infiniti G30 and M35, and Saab’s engine know-how would be in every Nissan and Renault in about 35 seconds. In short, Saab would lose a great deal of Saab identity under his leadership. But Saab would be a great-selling brand. Choose your poison.

  3. Here in Germany Renault has the Tag line of the creator of the automobile.

    This link is Renaults latest advert here, with makes references that the French make the safest Cars… Very Funny advert.

    http://blog.philippfleck.de/1_philipps_blog/get/autowerb.avi

    That’s right folks Renaults are made out of BREAD !! ????

    I do however think Renault want to establish them selves as leaders in the ‘safe-car’ market

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