Carlos Ghosn calls Nissan “boring and mediocre auto company”
Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan chief who was infamous outside of Japan in an instrument case amid a lawsuit for alleged financial wrongdoing, has released a new book. Wouldn’t you know, he has less than positive things to say about his former employer. Speaking with Business fox earlier this week he called Nissan a “boring and mediocre automaker”, adding that it will struggle to “find its place in the auto industry” if it does not partner with other brands to technical innovation.
Ghosn noted that many former Nissan executives jumped ship when his situation made the world news. “All of a sudden there was a hemorrhage of many expert executives – one of them is the head of Hyundai and the other is now the head of Jaguar [Land-Rover]. A lot of them left because they didn’t want to participate in this masquerade of injustice, “he said.” And now Nissan is back to what it was in 1909, unfortunately after 19 years of working, like the boring, mediocre car maker who is going to struggle to find his place in the auto industry. “
Ghosn’s new book, titled Broken alliances, details its mandate as a high-level suit in the automotive industry. Ghosn lobbied for Nissan to forge close ties with other automakers, ultimately forming the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, where he served as chairman of the three brands and CEO of Renault and Nissan. This, he claims, is something that many brand executives – and the Japanese government – were not very enthusiastic about. In his book, he details his perspective as well as his escape from the island nation.
Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 on allegations of falsifying securities reports and underreporting his compensation. In short, Nissan said internal investigations revealed that Ghosn had swindled company money and used it to fund a lavish personal lifestyle. The Japanese government held him pre-trial – both in near-solitary confinement in prison and under house arrest – until one of his many bail requests was finally granted. At this point, he fled Japan and eventually ended up in his home country, Lebanon, where he still resides. Ghosn, for the record, denies any wrongdoing.
As for his claims that Nissan is “boring and mediocre,” that depends on who you ask. The automaker and its luxury arm Infiniti certainly have their fair share of issues, from aging models to low sales in key segments and struggling with chip shortages like everyone else. Things didn’t get much better at the end of Ghosn’s stewardship, as even Nissan dealers hated the fact that she had become a “cheap basement brand.” And few cars have garnered as much attention this year as the new Nissan Z.
Ghosn closed the interview by saying, “It’s the kind of plot organized by people where at the end of the day you find out there is no winner. Japan has lost its reputation. The French lost. Nissan lost, Renault lost, Mitsubishi lost, shareholders lost. “
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