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Nissan CEO Ghosn sees 'opportunity for upside' in United States
[NEW YORK] Nissan Motor Co Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn sees "a good opportunity for upside" in the US vehicle market in light of President-elect Donald Trump's proposals to stimulate the economy, he told Reuters on Thursday.
Nissan, like rival automakers, is at risk if Mr Trump makes good on promises to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement or slap tariffs on vehicles imported from Mexico.
"It is too early to know what's going on in the US," he said.
Regarding Nafta, he said: "What matters to us is what is executed," not the rhetoric of the campaign.
Nissan has a technical centre and three vehicle assembly plants in Mexico and is building new US$1 billion factory there in a joint venture with Daimler AG.
That plant, which will make vehicles for Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand, is expected to start production next year.
Ford Motor Co Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks sounded a similar note of cautious optimism earlier in the day, saying he was encouraged by the tone of Trump's comments since the election last week, as well as the president-elect's talk of stimulating economic growth.
Mr Ghosn, in New York, said he expected US vehicle sales to remain at 2016 levels next year.
"We're not in a doom-and-gloom scenario," he said, adding that automakers could benefit if Mr Trump kicks off a large-scale infrastructure investment push.
"We are prudently optimistic," he said.