Fiat
may have returned to the U.S. market, but Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn doesn't plan on seeing the his French marque stage a comeback in the Land of the Free. According to The Detroit News, Renault will instead focus its efforts on introducing the brand to the Chinese market. Ghosn said Renault won't return to the U.S. within the foreseeable future. That's no real surprise given how fiercely competitive the fully mature U.S. market is compared to the explosive growth possibilities in China. According to the report, Chinese car buyers took home 17.3 million vehicles last year. That number is up from just 600,000 in in 1999.

Ghosn made the comments at the Automotive News World Congress, which ran along with the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The executive also made mention of the fact that Nissan has 65 models as of right now, and all of them are either profitable or on their way to becoming so. That wasn't always the case – In 1999, the company featured 43 models. Only four of those were profitable for the company at the time.


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  • 83 Comments
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rebadge some Renault vehicles as Nissan's here in the US? Just sayin'.
      FearlessFred
      • 2 Years Ago
      I CAN HAZ renaultsport clio/megane cup, PLEASE, NICE NICE mr ghosn!!
        Lou
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FearlessFred
        Agree, I would like to see a Nissan Megane Cup.
      ccweems
      • 2 Years Ago
      What would Ghosn have to gain? He is selling French models in the US under the Nissan name already. Trying to sell cars actually built in France at competitive prices would be DOA. Selling Renault models made in Eastern Europe would merely cannibalize existing Nissan cars to no profitable result. My dream would be to sell "French Allstars" under one roof. If one could cherry pick models made under the various French nameplates one could develop a pretty powerful lineup including a number of clever commercial vehicles. Such an altered reality would depend on $5/gal gas which isn't coming anytime soon.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      Makes sense to me. Why compete with Nissan which has a full line of cars and trucks?
      stclair5211
      • 2 Years Ago
      All those Chinese cars means they are all becoming middle class. Middle class people like to buy stuff, eat stuff and drink stuff. The world simply does not have the resources for this many people. The future is going to be interesting that is for sure. I predict a massive plague, but that's just my NWO paranoia talking.
      vtmilitia
      • 2 Years Ago
      Au Revoir for Le Car.
      Carpinions
      • 2 Years Ago
      As much as I'd like to see Renault cars here for more choice, Mr. Ghosn (pronounced "phone", not "goe-hn" - please AB staff note this for the podcast) has a very good point if Nissan's model performance is that good right now. Any Renault north of a Sentra-level car would cannibalize Nissan sales, or at the very least send people elsewhere. Many people here don't even know Renault and Nissan are tied at the hip, so it's not like a Ford or GM where people can surf from one brand to the next within the same corporation. That could be solved with some marketing, but it seems to be missing the point to use marketing to draw that connection if you just want them to buy your car. I think Fiat would have to be a runaway success here in the next 5-7 years for Renault to even consider bringing cars over. Obviously that isn't happening; it might, but it also might not. No sense spending a couple Bills here in the hopes of making a few sales.
      Justin Campanale
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow...... this article is really bringing out all the trolls. Renault nowadays makes reliable, competitive, good looking cars. They just left a bad taste in Americans' mouths due to the crappy AMC built Renaults from the 80s. My parents live in France, their Clio has been taken well over 300k miles with no problems. Of course, there will always be haters , rednecks, and racists who bash anything French. Yay for less choice.
        Zach Marshall
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        They make competitive cars for a European market, absolutely. Reliability is also rated above average and on par with most manufacturers. That's great, but vehicles like the Clio are not competitive vehicles for the U.S. market because buyers are still not looking for a small B-segment vehicle with little storage capacity, small underwhelming engines, and European styling that overall really is not appealing. The Clio's interior is very basic when compared to American market offering of similar price. The Clio introductory is about $15,000 not factoring in destination charge. And that introductory model would not meet U.S. Automobile regulations. Smart discovered that American buyers really weren't look for the small vehicle, and Fiat 500 has had underwhelming sales thus far. Gas prices and transportation needs in the United States are different then in Europe, and still dictate what type of car people are willing to buy. The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, as well as the Chevy Cruze and Ford Fiesta, are more in line with the type of vehicle people demand. Good gas mileage in combination with performance and storage capacity. Has nothing to do with the French. And Joey, Land Rover today is different then the Discovery era - TaTa or Ford. The vehicles still suffer from small electrical annoyances but the overall engine reliability and vehicle ratings have been impressive for the Evoque.
      whiteoak
      • 2 Years Ago
      the French have never been supportive of any activity involving the USA. we are better off without them,...Renaults have been junk any way
        Jessica
        • 2 Years Ago
        @whiteoak
        You may want to do some research about the American Revolution. Statements that include the word "never" are rarely true. It's certainly not true in this case.
        Alice
        • 2 Years Ago
        @whiteoak
        You are absolutely right whiteoak.
          Alice
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alice
          Sorry, I meant Jessica!
      Jimmy James
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why would they? Renault is already here, in the form of all those ugly ass french looking Nissans.
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jimmy James
        Other than the Nissan Versa Hatchback which "ugly ass French looking Nissan" are you referring to?
          Jimmy James
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Greg
          The last generation Quest, current Quest, Versa, Leaf, Juke. That and all the Nissan's with the Renault buck tooth grill. I remember when the purchase was announced and Renault said Nissan would operate autonomously which made me very happy since I was a huge Nissan fan. The very next new car had the Renault buck tooth. This started the trend of ugly, french inspired Nissans.
          visconti24
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Greg
          While some products are sold only in the French and European market and are Renault and others are for Asia and bear the name Nissan (some exceptions for specialty vehicles named Nissan and sold in Europe) the core of Nissan Renault is highly compatible if not identical with most parts used in both lines bearing one code number. It would be wasteful to the companies (which are associated but separate) to sponsor a Renault line in the US of Thailand, for example, where the name Nissan is better received.
      Gail
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great news, as we did not want their wet dreams called cars here anyway.
      Radioactive Flea
      • 2 Years Ago
      We just got rid of that Saab junk. Who wants a Renault?
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