PARIS (Reuters) -- Renault and alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. are interested in closer ties with General Motors Co., Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault and Nissan, told Le Monde newspaper. Speaking ahead of the Paris auto show, which opens to the media on Thursday, Ghosn also told the newspaper the global auto crisis was "behind us".
"Today, I remain open to closer ties with GM," Ghosn was quoted as saying in the interview, published today. "If they are interested, they will come to us."
Ghosn said he proposed working with GM during the crisis when he met with Steve Rattner, who ran President Obama's autos bailout task force.
Rattner had instead wanted him to run GM and Ghosn said he declined, as leaving his post when the crisis was raging would not have been ethical.
Ghosn also said Renault, Europe's third-biggest carmaker, would go to China one day, but not in the next two to three years. Its alliance partner Nissan is already in that market.
Renault, like other European carmakers, is scrambling to build up its presence in international markets, focusing on fast-growing emerging countries like Russia, Brazil and India as demand in Europe stagnates after the end of scrappage schemes.
Renault Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata told Le Figaro on Monday that half its sales could come from outside Europe by 2013, up from 40 percent today.
Ghosn told Le Monde Nissan would sell 950,000 cars in China this year, up from 10,000 a decade ago. China overtook the United States as the world's largest car market last year.
Renault would present "more realistic" targets in its new strategic plan, due to be unveiled in February, Ghosn said. The company was forced to drop targets in its previous strategic plan when the crisis hit.
"The timetable of the new plan will be different," Ghosn said. "The first one referred to 2006-09; the idea this time is to give the company more perspectives, over a longer period."