Renault-Nissan CEO Ghosn Seems To Claim Tesla Still Doesn’t Profit

OCT 2 2018 BY MARK KANE 84

The old dinosaur automaker apparently feels unappreciated.

Carlos Ghosn, the man behind the RenaultNissanMitsubishi Alliance – currently the world’s largest automotive group which produces the most cars (including 600,000 plug-ins) – had something to say about the industry and startups at the 2018 Paris Motor Show opening session.

As you might remember, Ghosn said earlier this year that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is the only manufacturer that is profiting on EVs. This time around. Ghosn not only repeated those words, but seems to have referenced Tesla, too. Ghosn basically stated that some newer automakers (Tesla and other new companies) not only produces a small number of cars, but don’t make money either.

“10 years ago everyone said car makers are dinosaurs, and tech companies would eat us.”

“Today, the industry makes 95 million cars, and the new entrants make 100,000 cars – and don’t make money.”

We admit there’s no way of knowing if this is a direct reference to Tesla, but if not, then who?

Perhaps Ghosn is out of touch with Tesla happenings over the past few days.

Categories: Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Tesla

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84 Comments on "Renault-Nissan CEO Ghosn Seems To Claim Tesla Still Doesn’t Profit"

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Clive

Carlos is no longer CEO of Nissan he just sits on the board of directors. He is still CEO of Renault, and he sits on the board of Mitsubishi Motors as well.

Carlos is an extremely smart businessman.

windbourne

So was Bob Lutz. Neither are knowledgeable now.

Clive

If you say so.

Carlos yes.

Bob no.

amt

Bob & Carlos are Both a Couple of Fortunate Clowns That Got in On The Right Circus Acts..Now They Think They’re Smart ! ….lol..Everybody Else Did All The Work , THEY TOOK ALL THE BOWS !……It’s 0ver Guys !

Clive

Cool story brosef.

You clearly don’t have a clue as to what you’re even talking about.

geefish

He is however, chairman of the board of the alliance. That’s the board that sits above Nissan’s, Renault’s and Mitsubishis’s board.

Clive

Correct!

William

Carlos is the RNM “Pro Pilot” Profit From Paris, and the arbiter of all things EV!

Nissan “intelligent mobility”
Leaf “innovation that excites”

The New 2019 Nissan Leaf with a 60 kWh battery, with ICE OEM industry leading 200 mile + range, still unfortunately hearing crickets…

Spider-Dan

Is GM not part of the “ICE OEM industry”?

William

The GM Bolt is the leader in “ICE OEM industry” 200 mile + range EVs, that are in stock and available now, here in N.A.

Hauer

Then why are sales numbers such a desaster?

JoeInTheUK

Wrong market. This would be a massive success in Europe.

NIck

what was the reason for having the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance ?

Alex

Smaller individual makers have a hard time in modern auto industry. The required investments are so huge that they must take advantage of huge size. That was the reason for the Alliance I think.

NIck

so why is he sticking finger at smaller compnies?

Will

Competition

Chris O

Marginal motor companies sticking together.

viriato

Sharing costs and improving scale economies.

deine Mutter

Being competitive with VAG. If you can’t share components with 10s of millions of cars you can’t compete in the small and affordable car segment.

NIck

so ICE industry is not always wonderful and profitable – bit stupid to point at others not making money – hed better make sure they make money over next 10 years..

Pjwood1

Having fewer names to join the AAM lobby, and thwart costly tech, looks less collussive.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

The irony is that when they partnered Nissan was short on cash and Renault bought into Nissan. It was a period of contraction.
(If you’re North American you might not appreciate how big Renault is: 3.8M vehicles compared to Nissan’s 5.7M).
Nissan had significant investment in Mitsubishi. After the fuel economy scandal in Japan, Nissan took over Mitsubishi, so now it’s an alliance of 3.

antrik

Nissan didn’t exactly take over Mitsubishi… They have a stake of 34%.

geefish
The reason for the alliance between Nissan and Renault was opportunity. In March 1999 when Renault and Nissan became alliance partners Nissan was in financial trouble, but it was still the 6th or 7th biggest car manufacturer in the world. Renault would’ve been somewhere around the 14th or so biggest manufacturer by numbers of cars produced. However, Renault was also very cashed up from good sales throughout the late 1990’s and astute business decisions which had cut costs and made the car manufacturer very efficient. And Carlos Ghosn was largely responsible for that. The one thing that Renault did not have was a large sales presence in Asia or North America. And that is where Nissan sales are strongest. And Nissan’s sales presence was weakest where Renault was strongest. In the late 1990’s a lot of car companies were merging or taking over others to gain a stronger footprint in more markets. Another point, currently there are a lot of shared resources and research and development and product undertaken between the Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi group of companies and Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company. The alliance includes another 6 or so brands that don’t get much media coverage because they are brands… Read more »
John Doe

They’re investing a lot in Lada now.

Trackdaze

His comment had a best before date that is fast approaching.

Scott

Best before 2017

Hugh Janus

If the new entrant only makes 100k cars and aren’t profitable, why bother to mention them? do they hope Tesla to go bankrupt soon?

Brian

Because they are sensationalized in the news. But business wise, they are not yet affecting RNM. At least, that is Ghosn’s story.

John Doe

Nobody, (but shorters) will profit if Tesla goes bust. It gives a boost to the industry, new ways of thinking and so on.
Unless Tesla grows to be a volume competitor, which they may become in a few years, unless other companies step up (which I think they will).

Chris S

He is more likely referring to the 1000+ EV startups in China.

Scott

It’s true Tesla only sold about 100k cars in 2017. But it hit an annualized rate of about 250k-350k in the past month and growing fast. Can’t wait to see Tesla sell a few million EVs per year and start taking a serious bite out of the market

Chris O

Ghosn seems to believe the 100K number pertains to this year though. Maybe he doesn’t know Tesla has already produced way more cars than that.

Hauer

Don‘t think so.
Needed to be fired if that were the case.

viriato

Even with 500.000 cars, Tesla will be a small company. That’s a truth. Now all the companies are joining to lower costs and improve profits. Tesla like Mazda, Suzuki or Subaru, must to choose a good strategy and do well their job to survive without partners.

Pjwood1

Battery procurement, and stranded assets is the other company’s pickle. EVs are in some ways tailor made for new entrants (and boutiques, like Jag).

Al D

I seriously doubt Tesla will sell even 1 million EV’s a year. I believe Tesla production will soon exceed sales and sales will decline within 5 years as the major manufacturers come out with all kinds of EV’s in every category, many of which will be priced below $40,000. Time will tell, but that’s the way I see it.

Hauer

Based on what?
The quality of the products ice makers are showing in their EV designs?
🤣

Brian

Based on the number of pretty concepts he reads about.

ffbj
I don’t know the first batteries came a cropper and the whole line just pissed buyers off to no end, to where you could get a used one for 6k, for a car that originally cost 30k. So yeah they made a profit on an inferior product, but I think they lost customers there. Then you had rapid gate, and the stern refusal to implement a LTMS. Nissan has benefitted from the fact that evs are so much better than ice cars that even their inferior products are preferable to said vehicles, also they play in the shallow end where there is less competition. Their cars a cheaper, mostly due to the inferior batteries they use. Nissan does know how to make cars, not just good electric ones. Passable, but not good. I think the latest delays and falling sales, at least in the U.S. are further indications that the Leaf is falling out of favor. They still have sway in Japan and will, forever, and in Europe where there are few alternatives to the Leaf, if you want a bev at a reasonable price. But I think that will change with some of the newer products like the Kia… Read more »
Pjwood1

Could also say $100 barrel talk is making compelling EVs look like low-hung juicey apples.

antrik

Shallow end? The low-end market is *much more* competitive. That’s actually Nissan’s problem: they tried entering from the wrong end. Tesla was much more successful, because they were the only ones to realise that attacking it from the top would be much more feasible.

Jiří

He really compares less than 1/3 of one manufacturer (Tesla production is over 80k/Q) to whole automotive industry? And BTW 95M vehicles, not cars!

Bustya

Carlos was a terrible CEO when it comes to innovation and electric vehicles for Nissan. The Japanese hired him to tell the Japs what to do but he goes ahead and delegates everything back to the Japs. Thats why the leaf ended up looking Japanese instead of European. Not to mention how Nissan has now used most of its federal tax credits i dont see how they will be able to compete with hyundai who still has most of their tax credits.

Clive

You have a bad mouth.

Not cool at all.

viriato

Today, at october 2nd of 2018, Goshn is right.

BoltUp

Hard to make a profit when your investing hard in growing your company. I think he’s correct and Tesla is still not ‘making’ money, but this is because they are investing in growing. Nissan may be making money, but they have two products with a few more in Renault and Mitsubishi but don’t seem to be truly investing in the global EV future, focused instead on making money now. After 10 years, one would think they would have a few other EV options available.

antrik

If he is indeed talking about Tesla, he is *not* right today. Tesla already sold way more than 100,000 cars this year. And they quite possibly also reached profitability in the Quarter that just ended — though that won’t be official for for a while…

Lawrence

As a leader, why would you concern yourself about a small startup manufacturer enough to even mention it? You have vastly more resources and can manufacture far more cars. Yet you failed to leverage any of it and only did a refresh of your only EV that should have been redesigned to stay relevant. Of course you made a profit because you didn’t reinvest to ensure your future. You failed to release anything else. None of course was mentioned in your speech.

Mike

Good point. Nissan seems to have squandered their initial advantages. I would think most of the current car industry wish they had invested in battery technology back when Nissan did. Nissan just failed to keep their EV drivetrain relevant through a lack of investment. Now they have become reliant on LG (like just about everyone else) and lag behind GM.

My prediction is that we will see companies like LG and Samsung build complete EV drivetrains. The legacy automakers will then build their cars around these drivetrains. Body style, electronics and cup holder design will be about the only thing that differentiates the major car companies, with a huge chunk of the profits going to the companies that had the foresight to invest in batteries, motors and control systems.

antrik

That seems unlikely. Batteries do not seem to be a “winner takes it all” market — and the other drivetrain components even less so.

God/Bacardi

He’s got a big ego…He thought he came up with a clever zinger yet most on here know odds are this will come back to bite him big time…

Kdawg

Depends who’s lunch you’re talking about, and in what country. Look at BMW, Audi, Jaguar… etc. Look at Norway. Have to start somewhere, and the trend isn’t looking good for ICE cars.

Rasmus Christensen

Denmark is about to ban sales of ice vehicles in 2030. Even though it’s a small country it helps others do the same. It’s going to be embarrassing for Germany if they do not do the same.

Rick

lol after their rapid gate disaster and degradation he better keep quiet with his low range cars…

bro1999

Aside from 2 engineered profitable quarters, Ghosen is right. Tesla is not a profitable company. Let’s see Tesla post back to back profitable quarters and they can shut up critics like Ghosen.

Positron

Maybe Tesla is small, but if forces dinosaurs to move to EV and it’s a good point !

JR

This is properly Carlos, last change to come with that remark! Tesla will be profitable in coming quarters, production is increasing tremendous and he will have to find something new to blame Tesla for, and he will do just that, it is his job!
Nissan took another approach to EV than Tesla and Nissan also succeeded in this, this is not a zero sum game where Tesla need to lose for Nissan to win.
I just think Nissan need to step more on the gas and bring there 60KWH car to marked and in large numbers, I think they can do that, I have more fate in Nissan doing this than VW, Audi

Cypress

Really? I think VW is going to eat Nissan for a tasty snack in the EV space.

Frank

LOL. Well, this will certainly trigger all the Musk fanboys.

earl colby pottinger

Yes, but it sure does not increase his sales.

groingo

Carlos, the fact is that Tesla IS doing it, maybe you need to look at how your doing things, ask yourself why takes so much more for you to profit and so much less for Tesla to profit?

John Ray
Can we stop pretending that even if Tesla shows a “profit” on paper that they are actually profitable. What profitable company has to have “volunteers” help deliver product because they haven’t invested in the resources to actually get their product to market. Let’s be honest here, the reason Tesla has no competition is that no sane company is willing to lose so much money and to under invest in transportation, logistics, sales, service and warranty reserve. Let’s stop pretending that they can fund future growth on sales alone and that there isn’t a capital raise coming. The market certainly seems to be pricing something in. I’m not one of those who believes Tesla is a fraud and has no future. I also believe that the product cannot be as bad as the shorts would have us believe though my first hand knowledge is limited. But, at some point, the management of this company has to start behaving in a adult manner – and they have to show a real profit. The hype train can only take you so far and they pumped Q3 about as much as a company can pump a quarter before Elon was muzzled. Q4 will be… Read more »
Doggydogworld

I think Q4 will be very good. Among other things, it’s the final quarter of full US tax credit, and phase-outs tend to spur lots of buying. China is the wild card.

Q1 will present many challenges. People who rushed to buy in Q4 won’t be there. Tesla’s production lines will have to adapt to build SR and possibly non-PUP as well as overseas versions. Overseas will start their own logistics hell, exacerbated by a much longer delivery chain.

Clive

OK Shorty ‼️

antrik

No pretending needed. It has always been clear that Q3 will be close. There is no reasonable doubt that Q4 will be much better, with a very clear profit.

(Also, if Tesla has people volunteering to help them out, that’s *not* a downside — very much the opposite. It just shows how strong their mindshare really is.)

jamcl3

Technically, this might still be true. Tesla will announce financial results soon, at which point we will know if it still is true.

But Nissan-Renault-etc. is not really anything more than a car company, while Tesla provides a transportation system, including a SuperCharger network that is far ahead of any other network out there, and optionally, energy for those who own their own roof. So comparing Nissan-etc. to Tesla is misleading. The Leaf is an inter-city car at best for now. So they don’t even compete with Tesla’s inter-state capable cars, at least for now. Much less the other system elements.

Will the “car companies” (Nissan-etc.) catch up to Tesla, the “transport system company” ? Maybe. Maybe not. I hope they do. But today there is no comparison in my view.

XavierStark

Hey Carlos!
What?
Look!
It’s a Model 3 :22,000 units sold in one month.
Sheeeeeeet

(Dedicated to @teslabjorn 😉 )

Mary Stein

The shorters and fanboys are one and same.

NIck

Everyone used to laugh at amazon not making a profit (for 10 years) – “new internet thing just wont replace normal shops” Wall street used to complain the margins were to small and no profit year after year.. Bezos kept sayin he was ploughing all profit back into the infrastructure(building the company) etc .
Now hes worth worth 150bn and amazon trillion dollor company – with little competition.

Tesla is using same (Tech/software industry) idea- innovateand go fast, and out build and do fast iteration of new ideas(and get them out – start with blank sheet)
Old industry dont even understand whats happening… 200,000/yr today yes- the hard work towards 2million a year is nearly done

Cypress

And ironically, Amazon put a lot of brick and mortar stores out of business, and is now opening and operating brick and mortar Amazon stores.

elmechdesign

I’ve pondered this recently. They could put Walmart out of business. Open up next to a Walmart, run the business professionally and efficiently, and “poof”, Walmart store closes. One after another, after another… (Walmart employee. PLEASE poach me!)

amt

Carlos, EAT YOUR HEART 0UT ! Tesla Can Have You Guys For Snacks…Wait , Look , Listen & Learn Carlos….

Al D

If Tesla does show a profit, I don’t believe it will last very long with all the competition breathing down Tesla’s neck. Within 3 years, there will be dozens of long-range EV choices from most major manufacturers. That makes me think the market for $45,000+ Teslas will stabilize within a few years and begin to decline. Will Tesla finally resort to producing the base Model 3 when production of the premium models exceed sales?

NIck

they are breathing down there neck wating to see if they can make a profit – let tesla take all the risks:- workout how to make it work/bring battery prices down/prepare them market – im sure that what most are doing, and im sure Tesla know thats what they doing!, so they go fast on the tightrope and try and innovate away from them – somebody will go bust or “join up” but who and when?

amt

That’s Wish full Thinking On your Part …Keep On Wishing ..lol… Because Tesla is So Far Ahead of the Rest That There is Nobody Remotely Near, to Breath Anywhere Near Tesla’s Neck,..

antrik

You seem to have missed how the global EV market is growing at >40% per year. There is no way other makers will inhibit Tesla’s growth, unless they will ramp production *faster* than Tesla — and there is no indication so far that any is planning to do so.

Alex

Many don’t understand this is not an ice vs electric, this is about selling cars and making money. All car makers will be building EVs as the market for them grows.
EV market is yet very small, there’s no room for many more players, as the market grows and technology becomes cheaper new cars will born with makers embracing them by shifting focus from ICE cars to EVs.

antrik

Right now demand for virtually all BEV models is higher than production — and as slowly as legacy makers are ramping production, this is not likely to change any time soon.

geefish

Oh how I long to find a electric vehicle website which doesn’t produce headlines to appease Tesla supporters but presents reports of factual, detailed information in an unbiased view point and which strives to eliminate personal opinions bleeding into the reports, all the while respecting all sides and viewpoints. “The old dinosaur automaker apparently feels unappreciated.” If Elon Musk had made a statement about all other EV manufacturers making a loss on all EV’s sold and Tesla making a profit on every one they sold would we be making cynical headlines about him feeling “unappreciated?” Tesla is a fantastic company doing amazing things and producing cars we all would like to own. Why do we need to drag others down to make Tesla look good? Cant we celebrate all EV’s instead of lifting one up and pulling all others down?

amt

It’s The Other way Around , Everybody Else ie: …(Shorts & Haters)’…Are Always trying to Drag Down , Make Light & Belittle All of Tesla’s Great Achievements .

antrik

It’s Ghosn who made an unprovoked dismissive statement about Tesla, not the other way around. If you don’t like the controversy, complain to Ghosn.

Will

Well he’s correct. Tesla still haven’t posted a profit. It’s a wait and see in a couple of days if they doo

Antonio Briz Ena

Renault Nissan Mitshubishi profiting on EV. Why not, i ve been waiting 3 years to hired battery replacement in my Fluence ZE and continues. No battery stock they say. Every Fluence ze in same case. So, less profiting and more customer care. Dont buy Renault ZE.