New faces in important places

The arrival of May 1 may signal a holiday for most of Europe but the date also marks the change of two important faces in key jobs in the automobile world. Carlos Ghosn, the boss of Nissan, moves to Paris to take over control of Renault, replacing veteran Louis Schweitzer. The Brazilian-born Frenchman of Lebanese parentage speaks five languages and is planning to go to work on revamping Renault as he did Nissan. Ghosn says that Renault will expand is the SUV market and will be building more high-end vehicles, pushing into the luxury sedan market which is traditional BMW and Mercedes territory. Thus F1 makes a lot of sense for Renault - if the price is right. he is also planning to internationalise the company more in order to sell the new Logan model in markets which cannot afford the more expensive Renault models.

Meanwhile in Germany May 1 marked the first day in office of Volkswagen's new boss Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, which completes the restructuring of the VW group that was started two years ago by overall boss Bernd Pischetsrieder.

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