The Latest on Renault-Nissan’s announcements about its future plan (all times local):
The head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is predicting that tougher government emission restrictions will push more and more drivers to electric cars.
CEO Carlos Ghosn told The Associated Press that electric car sales are growing by more than 50 percent annually in some European markets, and that his alliance is watching China’s emissions policies closely.
He spoke in an interview in Paris after unveiling a new alliance strategy with a heavy focus on electric and autonomous cars.
Ghosn said it remains unclear when electric cars will become truly mainstream, but said “this is coming.”
As governments plan future restrictions on diesel and gasoline engines, Ghosn said drivers are saying to themselves, “I’m going to go electric because I don’t want to have a problem with the car I have today three, four years down the road.”
Carmaker Renault-Nissan wants to make “robo-taxis,” driverless public transport vehicles and autonomous cars aimed at the mass market.
It’s all part of the alliance’s strategic plan released Friday, which focuses on spreading electric and autonomous vehicles into affordable price ranges.
The alliance announced that through 2022 it will expand development of vehicles with different levels of autonomous technology, starting with partial human monitoring and ending with a fully driverless car that can ride on highways.
It also said it is seeking to be a “key operator” of driverless ride-hailing services and to provide autonomous vehicles for public transit and car-sharing. It did not provide specific targets or potential partners.
The Renault-Nissan alliance is aiming to boost annual sales to $240 billion and to sell 14 million cars a year by 2022.
That would be up from about $210 billion in revenues last year and 10 million car sales in 2016.
The targets were announced as part of a new strategic plan by the alliance after its takeover of Mitsubishi last year. The plan has a big focus on electric and autonomous vehicles.
As part of the plan, the carmakers aim for 10 billion euros (about $12 billion) in savings by 2022. CEO Carlos Ghosn said Friday those savings would include combining purchasing and engineering efforts, as well as job cuts. He did not elaborate.
The Renault-Nissan alliance is ramping up electric car production, vowing 12 new models by 2022 and to make electric cars 30 percent of its overall production.
The carmakers also announced a push toward autonomous vehicles.
The announcements are part of an overall strategic plan released Friday for the next five years, its first such plan since it took over Mitsubishi last year. The alliance also unveiled a new logo for the three-way alliance.
CEO Carlos Ghosn also said the alliance is aiming to save 10 billion euros by the end of the period.
The alliance sold more cars than any other manufacturer in the first half of 2017 and is looking to ride on its growing reach by expanding electric vehicles into the mass market.