Renault, Nissan aim for top 3 spot this year-paper

PARIS, June 2 Wed Jun 2, 2010 2:47am EDT

PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA) and its Japanese Partner Nissan (7201.T) should together become the world's third-biggest car manufacturer this year, Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told the Financial Times.

Ghosn was quoted as saying that he expected the global industry to make and sell 70 million light vehicles in 2010, a slight tweak to the 69-70 million forecast he gave at the Detroit Economic Club last week.

"Very likely this year, we should be in the top three," Ghosn said in the FT's Wednesday edition, predicting sales of nearly 7 million cars from Renault, Nissan and their Russian partner Avtovaz (AVAZ.MM).

Renault would rank behind Germany's Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and its Japanese partner Suzuki (7269.T), and Japanese carmaker Toyota (7203.T).

The auto industry is expected to benefit from strong demand from emerging markets this year.

Ghosn said he expected consolidation between car makers to accelerate.

"You don't know who's going to be jumping into the laps of who and when and for what reason, but that's going to happen," he was quoted as saying. (Reporting by Caroline Jacobs; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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