After a 22-year absence, France's Renault SA is on the verge of a return to North America. Its $5.5 billion partnership with Japan's Nissan Motor Co. will be the vehicle. Renault intends to sell its new models in the U.S. under Nissan brand names (Nissan and Infiniti) and to make existing European models at two Nissan plants in Mexico and sell the cars under the Renault name, indicates Louis Schweitzer, Renault's CEO. Just over two decades ago, Renault exited the U.S. when it sold its 46% share in American Motors Corp. to the then-Chrysler Corp. Earlier, Renault had been exporting more cars to the U.S. than had Volkswagen AG. But brand demand suffered because of poor after-sales service, something Renault says it's determined to avoid this time.