While Nissan sells about 4 million vehicles, the combined Renault-Nissan Alliance sells about 10 million, placing the alliance in the top three of all automakers in the world. Nissan's financial services subsidiary provides consumers with auto loans and leases. In addition, the subsidiary also finances Nissan's sales to its dealerships (known as floor-plan financing). Nissan is 43.4% owned by French automaker Renault, while Nissan in turn owns 15% of Renault. The Alliance also has controlling interests in AvtoVAZ (Lada) in Russia and Mitsubishi Motors in Japan.
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Richard Hilgert is a senior equity analyst for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. He covers automotive stocks.Hilgert has more than 25 years of experience in automotive industry research, analysis, and forecasting. Before joining Morningstar in 2010, he founded Automotive Financial Research, LLC, a firm that published financial research reports focusing on automotive companies and special industry topics. Before founding Automotive Financial Research, Hilgert provided automotive industry research for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Troy, Michigan.From 2004 through 2007, he was director/lead analyst, responsible for Fitch’s credit ratings of the domestic automotive supplier sector.Before joining Fitch, Hilgert covered automotive stocks for Oppenheimer for seven years in Detroit. Previously, he worked in the equity research departments of Stifel Nicolaus from 1995 to 1997 and A.G. Edwards from 1989 to 1995, covering automotive and other industrial companies.Hilgert holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Illinois Wesleyan
University and a master’s degree in finance from St. Louis University. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Analysts and the Society of Automotive Engineers.