Despite Ghosn Crisis, Renault Expects Sales Growth In 2019

Despite the most likely exit of its Chairman and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn and increasing tension with alliance partner Nissan, French car maker Renault said that it anticipates to register growth in sale for 2019.

“Volumes progressed across almost all our regions (in 2018), and we’re entering 2019 with expectations for a slight increase in sales,” Renault sales chief Olivier Murguet told reporters.

Murguet however did not want to comment on the issue of crisis of leadership in the company following the arrest and detention of Ghosn’s arrest in Japan for alleged financial misconduct and its impact on the Renault-Nissan alliance and any impact on the sale of the company because of the recent developments in Japan.

Last year, an increase of 3.2 per cent in vehicle sale last year was reported by the French carmaker primarily because of a new Chinese joint venture and in increase in demand for its vehicles in Russia and Latin America.

Earlier in the week, a call for replacement of Ghosn as the chairman and CEO of Renault after about two months of him being in detention in Japan was given by the biggest shareholder of the company – the French government and this Thursday, the acting chairman of the company Philippe Lagayette announced that the company would soon appoint a new leadership.

The names that have cropped up as the potential successors of Ghosn include Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard, senior Toyota executive Didier Leroy and Ghosn’s Renault deputy Thierry Bollore and the final name would be decided by the Renault board and its nominations committee who are scheduled to meet within days.

The charges brought against Ghosn by Nissan incl;due allegations of the former chairman not disclosing near about $80 million in additional compensation for 2010-18 which he had arranged to be paid later. Nissan director Greg Kelly and the company itself have also been indicted.

The allegations that the deferred pay agreements were illegal or required disclosure have been denied by both the former executives. On the other hand, Ghosn has also denied another separate charge of separate breach of trust in connection to him allegedly transferring his personal losses to Nissan during the 2007-08 global financial crisis.

Renault reports increased sale of vehicles at 3.88 million units in 2018 which included about 166,000 units that were sold through its new partnership with China’s Brilliance. However the company noted a drop of 1.2 per cent in global sales outside of the joint venture.

The French carmaker only narrowly avoided being overtaken by arch-rival PSA Group, selling just 6,530 more vehicles than Peugeot maker.

Any major disruption because of the tougher new “WLTP” emissions tests introduced in September was avoided by PSA unlike Renault. PSA reported an increase of 6.8 per cent in sale at 3.88 million units in 2018 helped majorly by the acquisition of Opel-Vauxhall.

(Adapted from RTE.ie)

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