No Deals with Chrysler, Says Nissan CEO Ghosn

March 5, 2008

Don’t expect any more deals between Chrysler and Nissan/Renault, stressed Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the EuroAsian automakers, at least nothing on the order of their global alliance.

Industry tongues got to wagging, recently, when Chrysler announced it would begin marketing a Latin American version of Nissan’s Versa subcompact. Many observers began speculating that Chrysler could become the U.S. partner that Ghosn has, on several occasions, said he was looking for. Such speculation intensified as it became clear just how much financial trouble is facing Chrysler, since it was sold off by the former DaimlerChrysler AG to the private equity giant Cerberus Capital Management.

“No,” was the simple answer when Ghosn was asked, during a Geneva Motor Show interview, whether he was considering a partnership with Chrysler. There are no talks, no interest, “Period.”

That doesn’t mean the two wouldn’t consider sometime less far-reaching, along the lines of the Versa venture. In fact, Nissan just inked another of what Ghosn calls these “OEM deals,” with the ailing Japanese maker Mitsubishi, and he hinted, “There may be more.”

One apparent reason for his skepticism about Chrysler is that Ghosn is firmly convinced, “The U.S. is in recession and nobody knows where it will end.” So, when it comes to any deal involving the States, or an American company, he concluded, “Everybody is cautious.”

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