You've gotta figure that most senior auto executives long to become CEO of a carmaker someday, although they don't usually go public with their ambition. But Renault's Carlos Tavares says he's in a time bind.
As the top lieutenant to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, Carlos Tavares told Bloomberg he's not likely to succeed his boss, who's just 59 and doesn't appear to be going anywhere. So he'd like to be considered for the top job at General Motors or Ford. GM boss Dan Akerson is 64, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally is 68.
"We have a big leader, and he is here to stay," said Tavares, 55. "Anyone who is passionate about the auto industry comes to a conclusion that there is a point where you have the energy and appetite for a No. 1 position."
Tavares, who previously oversaw North America for Nissan, in which Renault has a 43 percent stake, said he hasn't talked to Ford or GM. But he said his best chance to run an automaker is in the United States.
"My experience would be good for any car company," Tavares said. "Why not GM? I would be honored to lead a company like GM."
Tavares says he isn't being disloyal. It's simply a matter of timing.
"GM may have other candidates who are good, and if it doesn't happen, that's OK," he said. "I would consider other companies, but the Detroit companies have succession coming."