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Carlos Tavares has been appointed Renault’s new Chief Operating Officer. As of July 1, Tavares will oversee Renault’s growth strategy focused on developing electric vehicles and new markets. He has replaced Patrick Pelata, who resigned in April following a case of alleged industrial espionage which turned into a fraud investigation.
Carlos Tavares, 53, a Portugues national, fluent in both English and French, spent 23 years at Renault in engineering and program management roles before moving to Nissan in 2004.
Carlos Ghosn, Renault and Nissan Chief Executive, said in a statement: ”His talent and experience will be key strengths for Renault and for all its employees as we go into the first year of our Renault 2016 — Drive the Change program.”
Private team to run GT-R in British FIA GT1
Despite all of Nissan’s troubles, the company isn’t shying away from motorsports for 2009, with four factory backed cars running in Japan, as well as several privateer teams running in Japan, China, South Africa and even in Europe.
“Motorsports is an important part of Nissan’s strategy for building a strong brand with consumers who share our passion for high-performance driving,” said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. “In addition to being an important touch-point for consumers, motorsports serve as a dynamic proving ground for automotive innovation.”
That being said Nissan plans to back four teams in the SUPER GT series in the GT500 class. Team NISMO, Team Impul and Kondo Racing have all decided on running the Nissan GT-R, however, Hasemi Motorsport has not decided which platform it will use.
Some of the most exciting news, however, is that Gigawave MotorSport will run a NISMO-developed car in the FIA GT1 class in the U.K. The car will only run four races in 2009 and, therefore, won’t compete for the championship. The driver’s names are not official but are expected to be Michael Krumm ( a NISMO driver) and Darren Turner of Gigawave, a team that has compete in the FIA GT series since 2007.
Now if only a NISMO GT-R could make its way to the American Le Mans Series.
Official release after the jump: