Nissan CEO Ghosn In A Nissan LEAF

Nissan CEO Ghosn In A Nissan LEAF

Carolos Ghosn Casting a Big Shadow

Carolos Ghosn Casting a Big Shadow

Charlie Rose met up with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

A partial (discussion related to electric vehicles) transcript of the interview is posted below:

Q: How successful is Nissan’s electric car?

A: The Leaf is the most sold electric car in the world. We’ve already sold 200,000. It’s a small quantity when you compare it with the 84 million cars purchased every year, but this is a first step. We still see a big future for electric cars. With the quantities we now produce and all the cost reductions, it starts to be profitable. That’s why we think it’s time to push.

Ghosn shares his thoughts on what makes for an exceptional automotive CEO.

Q: Alan Mulally was an industry outsider. Mary Barra grew up at GM. What makes a great car CEO?

A: It depends on the situation the car company is in. In my case, in 1999 I arrived in Japan and had to face the turnaround of Nissan. The fact that I wasn’t Japanese and was a newcomer to the industry helped me. People knew I wasn’t involved in the industry’s past. I dismantled keiretsu , challenged the seniority system, but I always explained why I needed to do it. We were very cautious to say, “We’re not in the business of transformation. We’re in the business of turning the company around.”

Back to the point of posting this interview session.  Note this statement made by Ghosn:

"With the quantities we now produce and all the cost reductions, it starts to be profitable. That’s why we think it’s time to push."

So, Nissan already dominates the world in terms of electric car sales and Ghosn is saying that Nissan hasn't even begun the push.  When that push begins, one can only imagine how far into the lead Nissan and the LEAF will be.

Source: Business Week