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Renault-Nissan prepares for difficult times

‘I am not betting or planning on a quick recovery,’ he said. ‘I don't see that happening in the European market in the short term, by which I mean the next three years. It will not be catastrophic, but it will be stable at best.’

Ghosn says he is sticking by his predictions of a 3-5% drop in new car sales in Europe in 2013, even though the figures for the first two months are two to three times worse than that.

‘The slope has been much steeper than we thought,’ he admitted, ‘but if you look at the second half of last year the figures were very low. Later this year they will improve and start to look better, even though they are not. A market down by 10 per cent today is not incompatible with -3% to -5%, so I will stick with that.’

Ghosn said that the speed of recovery will depend on the policies of various countries to calm down the market.

‘At the moment they are still trying to cut the deficit and bring back normalcy, but there will come a moment when this is not a normal thing and sustaining growth will become a must,’ he said.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.