A promotion for Tavares? Uh oh.

Carlos Tavares might well be the right person for the open slot as Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn's No. 2 executive in France.

French press reports say he is among the contenders. Asked whether it is true, Tavares answers only "no comment."

But this can't be happy news to Nissan's U.S. dealer body.

Tavares, Nissan Motor Co.'s youthful, race-car-driving chairman of the Americas region, is doing wonders here.

Ask any Nissan or Infiniti dealer in the United States for their opinion on how the company is doing these days, and they will invariably credit Tavares and his management team with doing all the right things.

But more than that, they will likely tell you that Tavares, his sales and marketing chief Brian Carolin, and their two brand executives - Al Castignetti and Ben Poore, have created responsive and stable leadership.

Tavares meets directly and regularly with dealers. They express their wishes to him. Tavares and his execs set about granting the wishes.

When the economy turned ugly in early 2009, Tavares came into a vaguely named new job – chairman of an entity called Nissan Americas – with broad powers.

He was put in charge of righting Nissan's ship in the United States, making it more profitable, improving Nissan's name recognition among consumers, bolstering the Infiniti brand, plunging the automaker into electric vehicles, and building Nissan's brands in markets like Mexico, Brazil and Chile.

All that is happening. Things are rocking. The outlook on Nissan from dealers, consumers and the rest of the industry is positive.

And now Carlos Ghosn and his board at Renault are deliberating this week on a question that, presumably, could move Tavares back to his native Europe.

But this is the trouble with the order of things in the global corporate world: You expect a guy to get ahead in his job. You just hate to see him fly off to do it.

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