Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn doesn’t want to see GM go bankrupt. And that’s not because he’s nice. “Nobody likes to see a competitor in a difficult position, because it usually messes up the whole market,” he says. “Any disruption today is going to add more to the problems of the industry.”
Ghosn was here at TIME this afternoon for a chat. We’ll get a transcript of the discussion up on TIME.com next week, but for now I thought I’d throw out a few quotes I jotted down.
On Washington possibly bailing out the Detroit Three: “We think any support that will happen will be mirrored in other regions. The U.S. will be setting the tone for the global industry.”
On the future of the auto industry: “I don’t think you have any substitute for car transport … People are going to continue to buy cars. This is going to continue to grow, especially in emerging markets … In emerging markets, the car is still the most desirable object, by far.”
On whether the economic downturn will affect Renault-Nissan’s plans to begin offering electric cars in 2010 and roll out a full line in 2012: “I will do whatever is necessary to preserve this. We’ll preserve it no matter what happens.”
On whether the whole electric car thing is for real: “This is not going to be a gadget this time.”
On today’s low gas prices: “I don’t think anybody thinks this is going to last.”