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Renault-Nissan’s Ghosn Turned Down GM Job

Marchionne Refused To Budge As U.S. Sought Money For Chrysler

A book to be published next month by President Obama’s car czar reveals that Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn was offered the top job at GM, while Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne eye-balled the U.S. administration and refused to pay any money for its 20 per cent stake in Chrysler.

Steve Rattner, Obama’s auto advisor who led the bailout of GM and Chrysler, has written “Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry”. It will be published October 14.

Ghosn, in a statement in mid-September, agreed that he had been offered the job.

“To leave at that point would have been both disruptive and disloyal to both companies. It was a gracious offer, but I had no hesitation to decline,” he said.

Marchionne hasn’t reacted yet to the report on the Chrysler negotiations. The U.S. was said to have pressed Fiat to pay for the 20 per cent stake, which rises in five per cent increments based on a programme of technology sharing. Fiat paid nothing for the stake.

Poverty not entitlementMarchionne is also said to have clashed with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, saying the latter needed to embrace a culture of poverty, instead of a culture of entitlement.

The book reports that Obama, at an early meeting of the government to bailout GM and Chrysler, said “Why can’t they make a Corolla?”


Neil Winton – September 15, 2010

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