I am Carlos Ghosn, the President and CEO of Renault and Nissan. Over a year ago, I made a pledge that we would bring autonomous driving vehicles to market by 2020. We're on track to make that happen. In fact last week, I announced the formation of a partnership between NASA's Ames and our Silicon Valley research centers.

Today, I revealed the new Nissan Titan at the Detroit Auto Show. Go ahead, ask me anything!

My Proof: https://twitter.com/Nissan/status/553932864895864832/photo/1

EDIT: I'm sorry I have to leave, but this was fun, thank you everyone for your time!

EDIT 2: Hello Reddit! I wish I had more time yesterday to answer questions. I am going to try to make that up to you and answer more questions later today. Please bear with me – the hardest part is the typing.

Comments: 4581 • Responses: 21  • Date: 

mattbarrie4074 karma

Hi Carlos

At the Stanford Executive Program in July 2011 I asked you whether you had any plans to work on self driving cars and you were fairly dismissive of them. You were also stunned when I said that Nevada had just past laws starting to allow them.

What changed your mind?

Proof (I'm the guy furthest down in the class screenshot in the white shirt taking the photo while asking): https://imgur.com/K5xWEb1

Regards Matt

CarlosGhosn374 karma

That was a really good question then and still is and gets back to something I said earlier about the difference between autonomous drive vehicles, in which the driver remains in control, and self-driving cars, in which a driver is not even required.

The focus of our R&D right now is on autonomous drive vehicles that enhance the driving experience, by giving the driver the option of letting the car handle some functions and by improving the car’s ability to avoid accidents. That technology exists already and will be rolled out in phases over the next several years.

We are not dismissive of self-driving vehicles, but the reality is the timeline for them is much further out into the future.

Kinglink1772 karma

is it just me or does 20 answers seem a little weak? What is the average amount of answers for AMA?

There's a lot of hard questions that he avoided. Honestly this felt more like a PR puff piece than a Ask me Anything.

I know we don't want to force them to ask questions they might not like, but to me this feels quite underwhelming (especially because I like the idea of this technology, he just didn't answer a single question about it except what differs them from google)

CarlosGhosn58 karma

I’m humbled by how many of you were interested in talking to me and hearing about what we’re doing with autonomous driving. When I signed off last night, I never thought there would be so many more questions than what I was able to answer after I left. I wish I had had more time last night, but I’m answering more questions today.

TrippingBearBalls490 karma

After Mercedes' dominance this year, what are your plans for your Formula 1 program?

CarlosGhosn1020 karma

We’re going to compete! We completely dominated F1 for five years, while Mercedes just won last year’s championship. When you compete, you won’t always win. From time to time you accept that you lose, and loss is at the base of revival of performance.

tcn33160 karma

What do you see as the bigger barrier to widespread use of autonomous vehicles, regulatory issues or customer acceptance?

CarlosGhosn285 karma

You have different waves of autonomous drive. To make it simple, wave 1 is valet parking, wave 2 is autonomous driving on a highway without passing. Wave 3 would be city driving.

Customer acceptance for the first waves is very high. Regulators are going to be much tougher to allow taking hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. In my opinion, regulators are going to be a much tougher sell than customer acceptance.

Smodizzle007119 karma

What was your first car?

CarlosGhosn363 karma

My first car was a used, cheap, discounted Fiat. It was the only car I could afford as a student in Paris.


Hello Mr. Ghosn, first off thanks for doing an AMA! Second, I am new to car sales and have recently been hired at a Nissan dealership, do you have any advice for a new Nissan salesman?

CarlosGhosn170 karma

People buy from people before buying a particular brand or product. The salesman is really the most important front line of a company like ours. You should always be conscious of this. If you are likeable, informative, educated, articulate, you are going to do a much better job.

Mopheeoos61 karma

Hello Mr Ghosn,

As lab partners go, NASA is hard to beat. From Nissan's point of view, what areas of research will this partnership benefit? CES showed how competitive this field is - do you expect collaboration with NASA to give you the edge? And if so, how?

Thanks! Tom

CarlosGhosn90 karma

First, yes, we expect that collaboration with NASA will give us an edge. The main domain of collaboration is going to be technologies about remote control, where NASA is second to none.

Second, there are the technologies and know-how they have in terms of human-machine interface, and human systems interface. NASA has an experience and knowledge second to none.

Third, NASA has a research center with a proving ground and they opened this campus to our cars. We will be able to test our cars in real life on their proving grounds.

On top of this, there is the excellence of their engineering that will also us to work together on issues related to autonomous drive.

thedatado49 karma

Congratulations on the Titan reveal! That truck creates its own class of vehicle.

As a long time Datsun/Nissan/Infinity owner I've recently went with a another brand (Mazda) due to the CVT in the Nissan. How committed is Nissan to CVTs?

Please make the RWD IDX, and if you give us a 4wd diesel Frontier with a manual option I'll buy two!

CarlosGhosn47 karma

First, we are committed to continually refine the CVT to make it more efficient, smooth, and robust.

And, if you'd like to see just how efficient, smooth, and robust the CVT of Nissan is today, please stop by your Nissan dealership to test drive a new 2015 Murano.

As far as the second question, OK, I understand and thanks for the suggestion!

JSwaggiee33 karma

Proud owner of a Nissan Rogue here, what is your favorite Nissan Model?

CarlosGhosn68 karma

That’s an easy one: For sports driving, the GT-R NISMO. For city driving, the Nissan Versa. For transporting the family, the Elgrand.

moosemaxmann25 karma

As an aspirational young professional in the automotive industry, what are 3 tips you would you give to ascend to a senior leadership position such as yourself? Thank you!

CarlosGhosn36 karma

There is no short answer to that. If I have to pick one particular piece of advice, I would say prepare yourself to perform in an ever-changing environment. You will need to adapt yourself very quickly to an industry that changes all the time at all levels: product, technology, management, process, organization, people, core business.

jeepsncreeps13 karma

Hi Mr Ghosn, I bought my first Titan in 2012. And aside from its dated interior, it has out preformed any other vehicle I've had. Besides the Cummins Diesel engine in the new Titan, what else makes the new Titan the best half ton pickup on the market? And me a repeat customer? Also do you know when we can expect to see the New Titan in Canada? Thanks!

CarlosGhosn26 karma

The Titan should be available in the North American market in 2016. We are going to do the sales launch sometime before the end of 2015, so in Canada it should be available sometime in 2016.

Point two: Thank you for your trust in Titan. It is a great product. We have modernized the exterior design, the interior design and configuration of the car. We got a lot of feedback on it. Torque is at 3,000 pounds. The diesel engine is going to be a very strong point. We have a V6 and a V8 engines. A lot of functionality, a lot of innovation in the car.

It’s going to be worth a visit to try the new Titan at your dealer, which would be better than any speech I could give you.

donthejeweler12 karma

any chance of a le car reboot?

CarlosGhosn20 karma

It was a great car in the past—it created a lot of passion. Our mission today is to design new cars that instill that same level of passion.

Crowd_of_Gods10 karma

Automated driving will be extremely disruptive in shipping and taxi service. Have you given any thought to these macro-economic effects?

CarlosGhosn34 karma

We are not promoting driverless cars. We are more into autonomous drive technology with the driver, so this should have no macro-economic impact.

BigDoug754 karma

Hi Carlos, I'm a die hard Datsun/Nissan fan that is very glad to see how well the company has done with you at the helm and hoping to see many more years of continued success. My question is how you see hydrogen fuel cells playing a part in electric vehicles and if Nissan/Renault are investing, or planning to invest, in this technology directly or through partnerships? Thank you and regards, Doug

CarlosGhosn11 karma

Thank you for your trust.

We are actually developing the technology and prototype of fuel cell cars. The only divergence is when they'll be ready for mass market. We think it's too soon.

They're too costly and the infrastructure is far from being ready. But it's a very promising technology.

Heel113 karma

How come Renault isn't as popular here in the U.S as it is in Europe?

NoahthePorscheGuy28 karma

because it isn't sold in the United States?

CarlosGhosn35 karma


abelcc2 karma

Can you gift me a car please?

CarlosGhosn24 karma

If we were to start giving away our cars to everyone on the Internet who asked, we would be bankrupt.