TOKYO – Carlos Ghosn, the head of Nissan and Renault, and General Motors (GM) CEO Richard Wagoner plan to hold talks this week in Paris as they continue to assess the possibility of an alliance among the three automakers, Nissan said Monday.
"We can confirm that they will meet this week in Paris," Nissan spokeswoman Mihoko Takeda said. "But we are not providing any further details at this time."
Kyodo News agency it was unclear whether the meeting would happen before the opening of the Paris Motor Show, which starts Thursday with a media preview. In July, Detroit-based General Motors Corp., Renault SA of France and Nissan Motor Co. of Japan announced a 90-day review of an alliance among them. GM has been stumbling amid intense competition from Asian rivals. It has announced plans to close 12 plants by 2008, slash its work force and cut costs.
The automakers are expected to decide by Oct. 15 whether to go ahead forming a partnership, Kyodo said.
Over the weekend, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported that the companies are unlikely to form a capital alliance because of reluctance on the part of GM, whose U.S. sales have shown recent signs of a recovery.
GM's employees and labor union have also voiced opposition to the possible capital linkup with the Nissan-Renault group, the report said, citing unidentified officials. But the Detroit-based company could still cooperate with the French-Japanese group in buying auto parts and materials, the report said.
Nissan has been making solid profits, but recently acknowledged it was selling fewer vehicles around the world because of a dearth of new models. In figures released Monday, Nissan said output in the United States fell 3.5 percent to 71,078 vehicles in August, while domestic output dropped 15.2 percent to 79,161 units.
Nissan's group net profit for the April-June quarter jumped 4.2 percent to 110.2 billion yen ($945 million) from 105.7 billion yen in the same period a year ago, the automaker said in July.
Quarterly revenue rose 3.1 percent to 2.2 trillion yen ($18.9 billion) from 2.1 trillion yen, but the company sold fewer vehicles during the quarter at 826,000 vehicles, down 6 percent from a year earlier.