Renault Eyes a Return to the US?

Automobile Staff
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1985 Renault Encore

Though the proposed partnership with GM never went through, several Renault officials say they're still interested in returning to America after a twenty year absence.

Jacques Verdonck, Renault's vice-president for corporate and strategic planning, noted that one option for would be to establish an independent U.S. presence.; Though independence has its perks, it would be costly and risky, thanks in part to crafting an all-new dealer network from scratch.

A more likely possibility is some sort of alliance with an American manufacturer.; In 2007, negotiations between Renault and GM collapsed due to managerial differences, but Verdonck's open to pursuing a similar arrangement.

"If the opportunity presents itself again, we will seize it," he said.; "But if it doesn't, I don't believe we can launch an aggressive takeover operation against an American company."

One possibility lies with Chrysler LLC.; While an aggressive takeover is unlikely, a senior Renault official speculated that if Chrysler were to be sold by Cerberus, Renault would be interested.

Despite Verdonck's optimism, there's still a chance that Renault's return may not happen.; Earlier this year, CEO Carlos Ghosn opined that Renault should focus on developing its operations in Latin America and Asia - not jump back into the U.S.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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