GM's Akerson and Renault/Nissan's Ghosn have gloomy outlooks for 2012
Both the CEOs of General Motors and Renault/Nissan are predicting slow economic growth and consumer anxiety in 2012. GM CEO Dan Akerson expects industry-wide light-passenger vehicle sales to be "flattish" next year, while Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said he feels a "very great uncertainty" about next year's automotive sales. Both execs cited the European debt crisis as having a significant impact on their projections, with Akerson saying that General Motors' sales, and the United States economy in general, will be even more adversely affected if Europe can't come to an agreement on how to rein in its out-of-control spending. Nonetheless, Ghosn is standing behind his sales forecasts for Renault, saying that "we already have our order book, and it's full," while Akerson claimed that the new contract with the UAW "preserved our breakeven point, which is critically important," allowing General Motors' books to remain in the black.