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Carlos Ghosn Says 2012 will be a Record Sales Year, Bets Heavily on EVs

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Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is upbeat about the way the automotive industry is heading, despite the fact that the economic crisis that threatens Europe is far from over.

In fact, during the recent launch of the electric versions of theRenault Fluence and Kangoo in Portugal last Friday, Ghosn predicted that 2012 will be a record year for car sales worldwide surpassing 2011's volumes.

“Unless there is an economic Armageddon and you see a Lehman-style crisis, I can tell you that 2012 will be another record year for the car industry no matter what Europe does”, he told Reuters. “2011 is already a record year in sales, no matter what happens in the next two months. It is going to be much higher than 2010,” Ghosn added.

According to the man who turned around Nissan’s fate a decade ago, China, India and Brazil with their increasing demand will make up for Europe’s losses. Like his counterpart at Fiat-Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, Ghosn thinks that the European market is, at least for now, a lost cause.

“With the latest developments, we are prudent in the announcement we are going to make for 2012 sales in Europe, where there is the highest level of uncertainty”, he admitted.

Ghosn also reiterated his belief that Nissan and Renault electric vehicles will definitely prove a success: “We are selling 1,500 Nissan Leafs a month in the U.S. and more than 1,000 in Japan. By the end of last month we have sold 15,000 units. The only problem we have had is supply.”

However, he is the first to point out that in order for his prediction of Renault and Nissan topping 1.5 million EV sales by 2016 to prove accurate, carmakers, energy suppliers and governments need to work together and install a widespread network of charging points.

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