Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn: “Tesla Is Not Our Rival – It Is An Ally”

JUL 3 2015 BY MARK KANE 20

Tesla CEO Celebrates The First Deliveries Of The Model S In 2012.  Will He Celebrate Being The EV Sales King For 2013É

Tesla CEO Celebrates The First Deliveries Of The Model S In 2012.

Carlos Ghosn, Renault and Nissan CEO, was recently asked at the final Formula E race in London about Renault’s involvement in the series and whether we should expect to see some performance models in the automaker’s EV lineup.

Ghosn declined. Renault (and probably Nissan), will focus on mass-market, affordable EVs.

However, those who enter premium markets like Tesla are seen as an ally in the broader campaign for EV popularization.

“No, we’re going for the heart of the market. That’s where there are volume sales. We’re happy that other people are going premium – it shows EVs are versatile, and exciting.

“Tesla is not our rival – it is an ally. But we need to sell what we have developed, and sell it well. That’s already going well for us – our EV sales are up 72 per cent in the year to May 2015, and we have a 95-98 per cent customer satisfaction rating for Kangoo and Zoe.

“In the future, will we grow our EV offering? For sure, but we will focus on the volume sellers.”

Source: TopGear

Categories: Nissan, Renault, Tesla

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20 Comments on "Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn: “Tesla Is Not Our Rival – It Is An Ally”"

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Tesla not Renault’s or Nissan’s rival – yet. We’ll have to see where the Model 3 ends up competing.

Exactly. But even then, Tesla will still be a bit of an ally proving that EVs are great cars.

Not too many auto manufactures will have sold over 100,000 BEVs going into 2016. Nissan and Tesla will start the year with a significant lead on the global market compared to others.

As a percentage of automotive market, BEVs account for under 0.5% … leaving a huge market that is slatted to grow to 5-10% between 2020 & 2025 … so far little competition as the leaders starts scalling and dramatically reducing manufacturing costs.

Even then I think the Gen2 Leaf will be smaller than the Tesla 3, and probably a little cheaper. The Chevy Bolt is the real competition… Ghosn is right as usual…

Tesla is not a Renault-Nissan Rival … at least not until the Tesla Model 3 !!!

The M3 will still be 10k+ over the leaf and almost 20k over the Zoe (usd). Not really the same “kind” of cars.

Want to see what the model 3 looks like or should look like? Look at the Renault Zoe

No, the Model 3 will be larger and more capable. The Zoe is a supermini (a subcompact), while the model 3 will be a compact.

Put another way, the Zoe is just slighly larger than an Audi A1. While the Model 3 will be in the range of an Audi A3 to A4.

You realize the LEAF is considered a midsize. I bet the 3 will be also.

No, I didn’t know that. It’s fair to say that the 3 will be similar in interior space to the Leaf.
However, bear in mind that the Leaf is just barely midsized, with 113 cf, thanks to the hatch.
And, now that you’ve made me look it up, the Model S is just barely a full sized car, at 120 cu. ft. Musk has said the 3 would be about 20% smaller, so that’s 100 cf, or less than the Leaf, if true. The Audi A4 clocks in at 103 cf, and is thus classified as a compact.
What I’ve learned here is that the Leaf is a rather large car.

As long there’s no Megane Z.E. with battery to buy (I don’t like leasing) and much peak power, the Model 3 could become interesting for me. The Tesla website says that there will be a store here in a neighbor city soon…


Nissan Renault are masters at mass production of small cars. Tesla build a great electric drivetrain and battery. These two companies have the smartest and most visionary CEO’s in the car industry worldwide. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for the future of the EV industry if Tesla supplied the battery/electric motor/software and Nissan built a small, affordable car around this. And it doesn’t have to be ugly – the Renault Clio are Zoe are good looking small cars. Even in markets without incentives, this could be an EV you would buy just to save money, especially in Europe where the cost of petrol is high. I for one would love to see a Nissan/Renault partnership with Tesla. It makes much more sense than their previous deals with Daimler and Toyota. Ghosn in his own way is just as much a champion of the EV transition as Musk.

It would be more interesting to start with a pure electric company like LG or Philips from their washing machine division on which you would have to kind of add wheels and a battery rather than starting from a petrol car that has it all wrong from the start with engines,gearboxes, clutch, exhaust pipe and a bunch of other things that need drastic removal including the wrong sale mentality that goes along with it.

Nissan spent lots of money on their in-house battery and motor so I don’t see them going with Tesla. Renault also spent a lot to develop their in-house motor, but they are a possibility on the battery side given they source from LG Chem.

However, like most automakers, I think they will probably prefer packs built from large format cells.

I just love that he says Tesla is an ally. Mature thinking like this is needed in this area ahead of immature competitiveness (for it’s own sake I hasten to clarify).

Ghosn is cool. 🙂

At least they are on side of light.
On the Dark side Toyota / Honda and Mazda with the Hydrogen fool cells

If they are allies, Nissan should adopt the Supercharger.

Nissan adopting the superchrager really doesn’t make sense before they at least double their battery size.

The Leaf already charges just as fast per kWh battery capacity as Tesla does. Charging faster is difficult on current battery chemistry.

“In the future, will we grow our EV offering? For sure, but we will focus on the volume sellers.”

In another word,

We are allies but I am going to take a swipe at Tesla by calling their market “low volume” while mine is “volume sellers” but in 2015 Tesla managed to kick my butt in the US market so far…