Carlos Ghosn Predicts Where the Automotive Industry Is Headed

Bob Ulrich
Posted on January 24, 2017

Ghosn says one of four miles traveled by consumers in cars will be “shared” with another occupant by 2030.
Ghosn says one of four miles traveled by consumers in cars will be “shared” with another occupant by 2030.
When Carlos Ghosn speaks, his vast experience in both the automotive industry and automotive aftermarket give him plenty of credibility.

He is chairman and CEO of Nissan Motor Corp., Groupe Renault and the Renault-Nissan Alliance B.V. He is also, as of December 2016, chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

If that is not enough, he was chairman and CEO of Michelin North America Inc. from 1990 to 1996.

At the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit recently, Ghosn shared his views on the trends affecting the automotive industry. In his speech on “Autonomous, Electric and Connected: A Talk on Current and Future Mobility,” he identified four significant trends to watch for in the next few years.

1. The tipping point for electric car demand has arrived.

2. Autonomous driving will be determinative of much of the industry’s future.

3. The industry is “moving to a mobile connected space instead of a single, isolated car.”

4. By 2030, one of four miles traveled by consumers in cars will be “shared” with another occupant; right now that number is about 4%.

However, he also addressed what to expect from President Donald Trump’s administration (his speech was given 11 days before the inauguration.)

“The only thing that can be reasonably expected from a new administration (in Washington) is to maintain high consumer confidence. That’s it.”

Carlos Ghosn joined Groupe Michelin in 1978 and was was chairman and CEO of Michelin North America from 1990-1996.
Carlos Ghosn joined Groupe Michelin in 1978 and was was chairman and CEO of Michelin North America from 1990-1996.

Expectations for Trump in the White House seem to be a positive, he said. After a record sales year in 2016 in the United States, “it looks like 2017 will be better than 2016.”

Trump’s promises to cut corporate tax rates and other business-boosting measures are “going to go in the direction of boosting growth," he said.

In a discussion moderated by a Bloomberg L.P. editor, Ghosn acknowledged that Trump has made auto executives nervous with his comments about car plants in Mexico. “But so far, the rules have been NAFTA, and we all adapted to that. After Jan. 20, it won’t be NAFTA, it will be (altered or) something else. Fine, whatever it is, as long as the rules are the same for everyone.”

Even when he was with Michelin, Ghosn wasn’t afraid of fair competition. In a 1995 interview published in Modern Tire Dealer, Ghosn said this about the future of the tire industry.

“I am looking forward to competing with other tire companies in a situation where all of us can concentrate on technology, manufacturing proficiency, sales and marketing strategy and all other aspects directly related to our primary business of producing and selling tires.

“This is an opportunity for each of us to demonstrate our strengths and our expertise in servicing our customers.”

Related Topics: 2017 NAIAS, autonomous vehicles, Carlos Ghosn, electric vehicles, President Donald Trump

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
News

Yokohama to Increase OTR Tire Production

Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to spend $45.5 million to expand production of off-the-road tires at an Alliance Tire Group plant in India. By the end of 2019 the company says production capacity at the site will increase more than 60%, to 91,700 tons.  

Matt Leeper from Falken Tire, left, presented a grand prize motorcycle to Ron Barlow from FTC Enterprises during the final dinner of the K&M Tire 2018 Dealer Conference.
News

K&M Tire Dealers Learn Sales, Customer Service and Efficiency Tips

K&M Tire Inc. founder Ken Langhals likes to remind his 600-plus employees that a customer’s tire order one day doesn’t guarantee another order the next. And that means K&M’s annual dealer conference is an opportunity to provide dealers with help and extra services that set K&M apart from other wholesalers.

Article

An Insight into Tires and Their Problems in Europe

The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) recently held its annual conference, which, although traditionally staged in the UK, represents the ongoing current issues in the tire industry throughout Europe (at least until the Brexit negotiations are completed) and attracts an extensive and diverse range of delegates.

The retail business may be the foundation, but Point S Battle Mountain Tire and Auto Service wants to expand its commercial footprint. That means hauling tires to its customers’ locations or work sites is a regular task.
Article

From Miner to Tire Dealer

Walt Holland comes from a family of miners. Growing up he worked in the uranium mine his father owned, and he went on to spend 30 years working in Nevada’s gold, silver and copper mines. He eventually became a mine operations manager for Newmont Mining Corp., one of the largest mining companies in the U.S.

SMPS's latest release of BWD parts includes fuel vapor canisters and vehicle speed sensors.
Product

SMP Expands BWD Line

Standard Motor Products Inc. (SMP) has added 324 part numbers for domestic and import vehicles to its BWD engine management line.

Chicago Pneumatic says its new CP825C series of composite air ratchets will allow operators to do the job quickly in any light or heavy vehicles general mechanic applications.
Product

Chicago Pneumatic Upgrades Composite Air Ratchets

Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co.’s new CP825C series composite air ratchets are designed to offer high accessibility to tight spaces such as motor engine compartments as well as high speed for fast rundown (280 RPM).

News

Hotwire Will Return After MLK Holiday

Due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Modern Tire Dealer will not publish Hotwire on Monday. Look for the next edition on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!