|You could argue that the reason Renault was able to shock the auto world in 1998 by acquiring Nissan was the emergence of a delightful Renault design language in the 1990s. And you could give credit for that look to the man shown here -- former Renault styling honcho Patrick Le Quement, the erstwhile Ford of Europe design boss.|
To be more specific, the shape and package, and thus huge market success of the Megane Scenic in 1996 and 1997, pulled Renault out of its doldrums and gave it the wherewithal -- at just the right time -- to grab hold of a struggling Nissan.
Thus the theory: Without Le Quement, the Frenchman with the pristine, upper-crust English accent, there would have been no Renault-Nissan alliance. So here was Le Quement, walking alone through Hall 2, looking nothing like a man who changed the global auto industry.
"I am retired," he said, when I caught up him aside. "I have begun a new life -- as a boat designer."