PARIS, France - Renault has announced that its deputy head, Carlos Tavares (55), will leave immediately since the executive sad publicly that he wanted to head a US auto group.He has ceased to be No.2 in the group responsible for Renault operations.Tavares has spent most of his career with Renault and sister auto company Nissan. He said he wanted to pursue personal projects but had no further comment on his departure.'HERE TO STAY'Two weeks earlier (Aug 14) Tavares gave an interview to financial news wire Bloomberg in which he said he had little prospect of ever being able to succeed chief executive Carlos Ghosn.In the interview, published on August 14, Tavares said "we have a big leader and he is here to stay", adding: "Anybody passionate about the auto industry comes to a point where you have the energy and appetite for a No.1 position."Ghosn (59), will end his mandate with Renault in 2013 but so far there are few signs that he plans to leave the post.Tavares underscored that, to lead a car group, his best bet would probably be in the US. General Motors and Ford, for instance, will soon have to renew their top management.Tavares said: "My experience would be good for any car company. Why not GM? I would be honoured to lead such a company."A source close to the matter said that Tavares' comments had caught Renault and its management by complete surprise, with Ghosn allegedly calling the statements "bolts of lightning from a clear blue sky".A Renault spokesman said that Ghosn would temporarily take over Tavares' functions.