Speaking at the opening of Nissan's new design complex in Atsugi (southwest of Tokyo) he explained that capacity was the key to the talks: "There is no doubt in our mind, depending on the environment, that at a certain point of time, we're going to need more capacity. The question is when," said Ghosn.
While not ruling out the possibility of future collaborations or even mergers, he wanted to make a point of saying that Nissan is looking for long-term capacity more so than product sharing at this point and that any future negotiations would have to fit into an ever changing set of criteria to make it palatable. Partners aren't really what Nissan needs right now.
The Renault alliance (not to be confused with the Renault Alliance) is one that has brought great benefits to both parties according to Ghosn. Market valuations have gone up for both companies and the shared purchase power is making parts more affordable than ever.
With a combined output capacity of 6 million vehicles, Nissan-Renault is the world's 4th largest automaker. Adding GM into the mix would make them a clear number 1. Having said that, sales aren't exactly forcing expanded capacity right at the moment. Ghosn added that Nissan is "not foreseeing any better conditions" for increased sales in the U.S. over this year's rather dismal figures. So there is still plenty of time to get a deal together if necessary.
[Source: AP via The Detroit News]