BEIJING AUTO SHOW

Ghosn: Chrysler is unlikely to join Nissan alliance

Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn: “We are not in a hurry.”
BEIJING — Nissan Motor Co. expects more product-sharing deals with Chrysler LLC, but Chrysler is not on track to be Nissan's long-sought North American alliance partner, says CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Expect Nissan to enter into more tie-ups like this month's agreement to make a small car for Chrysler in exchange for a Chrysler-built pickup, says Ghosn. But that doesn't mean Nissan is courting the company as a possible third partner in its alliance with Renault SA.

"We will continue to make deals like this, not only with Chrysler but with many car manufacturers," Ghosn says. In January, the two companies announced Nissan would supply Chrysler with a sedan based on the Nissan Versa for sale in South America starting in 2009.

Nissan once had envisioned General Motors as a partner, but those negotiations fizzled. Ghosn says he's still open to a North American partner, but the timing isn't right.

"I don't think the opportunity is there today," Ghosn says. "We are not in a hurry."

Ghosn also rules out possible joint purchasing with Chrysler, as is done with Renault. "Purchasing is a different story," he says. "The day you purchase together, you're going to have to change a lot on engineering, on platforms, on engines, on everything."

You can reach Hans Greimel at hgreimel@crain.com

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