At the end of the day, the EU and the euro will survive the current economic crisis, says Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO, in an interview with WSJ Deputy Managing Editor Alan Murray for the Executive Viewpoints Series, sponsored by IESE Business School and BCG.
Although it may take time, European leaders will find the solutions necessary to avoid a break-up, Ghosn said.
Nevertheless, European companies face the prospect of difficult times ahead, with a stagnate economy predicted for the next four to five years, he said, adding that growth will peak at 1 percent in a best-case scenario.
"As you know we always need to plan for the worst and hope for the best and for the moment we're planning for the worse," he said. "And the worst is now."
The car market is down more than 15 percent in France and more than 8 to 9 percent in Europe, he said.
Uncertainty, due to the persistent fragility of the euro and political tensions in the euro zone, has led consumers to halt spending, he said.
Virtually every incumbent European leader has lost in recent elections, reflecting the public's desire for change and a more stable environment. It is "normal," he said, that in this context people cut back on expenditures, such as cars.
Ghosn said he is optimistic that European leaders will take some critical decisions, such as to reduce budget deficits, over the next few months in order to put the euro zone back on track toward stability.