Renault re-tools executive ahead of new chief

16th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 15 (AFP) - French automaker Renault re-tooled its management Wednesday, paving the way for the arrival next year of Japanese partner Nissan Motor Company's chief Carlos Ghosn, who will pilot both enterprises.

PARIS, Dec 15 (AFP) - French automaker Renault re-tooled its management Wednesday, paving the way for the arrival next year of Japanese partner Nissan Motor Company's chief Carlos Ghosn, who will pilot both enterprises.

Ghosn, in a long-mooted move, is to replace Renault chief executive Louis Schweitzer when he departs from the company in April.

Schweitzer said the management changes announced Wednesday for next year had been decided in collaboration with Ghosn.

"This is not a shake-up. These are internal promotions," Schweitzer said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro published Wednesday.

"Along with Carlos Ghosn, we have decided to make these decisions before the bustle of the succession.

"It seemed useful to make these changes even before the arrival of Carlos Ghosn so he can hit the ground running and to eliminate any uncertainty in the team," he added.

Four top directors will be leaving the seven-member executive committee, to be replaced by three new executives.

Schweitzer had already announced in 2002 that he would be replaced in 2005 by Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan, in which Renault owns a 44.4 percent stake.

Brazilian-born Ghosn took the reins of Nissan five years ago after the Renault tie-up with the ailing number-two Japanese automaker.

In the Figaro interview, Schweitzer said the new management team at Renault had no intention of modifying the balance between the French automaker and its Japanese partner.

Not only would Ghosn be the CEO of both automakers, an unusual dual responsibility, but Renault would base certain operating structures on the Nissan model.

"Purchasing and manufacturing are going to be directly under the control of the CEO to align the organization with Nissan's. That reinforces the symmetry and the links between the two groups," a Renault spokeswoman said.

Schweitzer confirmed that Renault aimed to produce four million vehicles per year by 2010, while improving both vehicle quality and the group's financial ratios.

The company also plans to expand in China, where Nissan is already present.

"I would hope that Renault is capable of entering India with the Logan," its low-cost model for emerging markets, Schweitzer was quoted as saying.

Renault first invested in Nissan in 1999 in a wide-ranging cooperation plan aimed at creating an automotive group that would rank in the top five worldwide.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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