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Carlos Ghosn of Nissan & Renault: How Technology Is Changing the Auto Industry

The car of tomorrow will be a 'living room on wheels'. We spoke with Carlos Ghosn of Nissan and Renault about the shifting auto industry, what people want from a car, and how technology is making it happen.

Read the story behind the interview: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141105133121-29092-the-monk-ceo-how-carlos-ghosn-manages-3-companies-140b-in-sales-and-still-stays-human?trk=prof-post

Some of our favorite excerpts:

Cars are not commodities. Cars are products that are going to see a lot of change. They have seen a lot of change, a lot of innovation. And they're going to be seeing a lot of change and innovation.

Obviously, the engines for our industry are now China, India, Brazil, Russia and moving towards Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South America, et cetera. So, we're moving all the time. In terms of products, you need to follow not what the consumers are telling you what they want, but the trends of the consumer. That means, they're not be going be asking you for this today. They may be asking you tomorrow. And that's why you need to prepare for it.

And what the consumers are saying today: they say, "We want more time available. And we want more pleasant time." These are two very important indicators, particularly with the young people. When you're driving today-- an average-- person living on the planet owning a car, spending two hours a day in the car. What are they doing during these hours? Nothing. They're driving their car. There is nothing they can do. Okay? So, our job is, how can I give back some of this time for the people sitting in the car? And then, at the same time, how can I make it pleasant? Because making time available, if there's nothing you can do, it's a waste. You need to make sure that they can use it. And this is where connected cars intervene. So, this is how you build the technology. You try to see what the trends are that consumers are asking for in a very generic way.

Obviously, when you look at all the constraints on the environment, both in term of emissions and in terms of pollution and when you see the regulations, where the regulations are going in the United States and in China and in Europe, you know that zero-emission are also part of the cars.

That's the way you prepare for the technology. Not because consumers are asking for this today, but because they are hinting this is the kind of car we may be wanting for the future. You need to prepare the technology even though you never know exactly when is the time where this technology move from a niche product to mainstream.

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