Engineered Ghosn charges> coup 4Nissan 2end Renault alliance(?)

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Engineered Ghosn charges> coup 4Nissan 2end Renault alliance(?)

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http://www.kogonuso.com/2018/12/arrest-of-nissan-star-ghosn-raises.html
Arrest of Nissan star Ghosn raises speculation over coup
December 12, 2018  Chidinma C Amadi  World News,

TOKYO: The surprise arrest of Nissan’s former chairman on charges of
falsifying financial reports is providing a window into possible corporate
intrigue at the Japanese automaker.

Japanese media and some analysts have raised the possibility that the
charges against Carlos Ghosn were engineered to sideline him and give Nissan
an excuse to end a lopsided alliance with French automaker Renault SA.

“What is fascinating about this story is the politics of it,” said Egor
Matveyev, an assistant professor of finance at the MIT Sloan School of
Management. “It certainly appears that it wants more power and control
within the alliance. This whole situation may give Nissan the opportunity to
reset, and to put all the blame on Renault and Ghosn.”

Ghosn’s absence while he is held for questioning gives Nissan’s side time to
maneuver for more power, he said.

Renault dispatched Ghosn to Nissan in 1999 to lead a spectacular turnaround
and owns 43 percent of Nissan Motor Co., while Nissan owns 15 percent of
Renault with no voting rights. Now, Nissan is more profitable than Renault.
Talk of a merger between the two companies was raising resistance in Japan,
where sentiments seem to be running in exactly the other direction.

Nissan already feels it’s more than paid back what it “once owed” Renault,
while Renault doesn’t want to lose “the golden egg” that is Nissan, said
Etsuo Abe, a business management expert at Tokyo’s Meiji University.

“But when things get this messy, the only way out is divorce,” he said.

Long simmering dissent within Nissan’s Japanese ranks is the backdrop to the
Nov. 19 arrest of Ghosn and an American executive, Greg Kelly, on suspicion
of falsifying financial reports.
“Ghosn shock” and “Just like a coup,” shouted headlines in both mainstream
media and tabloids.

As chairman at Nissan and chief executive of Renault as well as the
alliance, Ghosn answered to a board headed by himself, holding key roles in
determining pay packages and other decisions. Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto
Saikawa, who became co-CEO with Ghosn in 2016 and then sole chief last year,
says the problems stemmed from his boss having too much power.

In response to a reporter’s question he denied the shake-up was a coup, but
called Ghosn and Kelly the “masterminds.”
It’s unclear if Saikawa will be tapped to replace Ghosn as chairman
following his dismissal last month. Whether an executive from Renault or
Nissan gets the job may signal where the Yokohama-based maker of the Leaf
electric car and Infiniti luxury models is headed in the short run.

A source close to Ghosn and his family told The Associated Press Ghosn was
stunned and has been asserting his innocence.
She said the allegations were unfounded, since the suspected unreported pay
was deferred income he had not yet received.
After Ghosn’s arrest, Saikawa said Ghosn had misused company funds and
assets. Japanese media pointed to spending on several luxury homes as
evidence of such misconduct. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity
because Ghosn’s legal team has not released any statements, said the homes
in Brazil, Lebanon and other cities were needed for security reasons.

Nissan as a legal entity was charged Monday, along with Ghosn and Greg
Kelly, another board member, with violating financial laws in underreporting
Ghosn’s income by millions of dollars over several years.

But Nissan has not been put under any kind of supervision, and so far only
Ghosn and Kelly have been named in the charges. They are being held at a
Tokyo detention center at least until Dec. 20.

Whatever the motivations for their arrests, Ghosn has been effectively
sidelined indefinitely: Under Japan’s legal system, long criticized as
“hostage justice,” a suspect can remain in custody for months. Trials often
take years.
The latest scandal followed other setbacks for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi
alliance, despite it having led the industry with sales of 10.6 million
vehicles in 2017.

Under Saikawa, Nissan’s sales and profits have faltered, especially in the
key North American market. The company also has acknowledged a slew of
violations of inspection rules for emissions and mileage tests and faulty
checks of its finished vehicles at plants in Japan.

Some fear Nissan’s relationship with Renault may have been damaged beyond
repair: Renault has demanded more information from Nissan, and held off on
replacing Ghosn as chief executive, while naming Deputy CEO Thierry Bollore
as acting chief.
A breakup with Renault would be painful. The alliance’s shared components,
technology, production plants and personnel have helped drive its success.
Losing that synergy and scale could put the companies at a disadvantage with
rivals like Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp.

At a time when the industry is undergoing a shift to electrification, net
connectivity and artificial intelligence, the advantage of scale is likely
to accelerate in coming years.
So far, the alliance has stayed intact, at least in public. Both French
President Emanuel Macron — France has a 15 percent stake in Renault — and
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are voicing their support.

To gain more balance in alliance stake-holdings, Nissan could issue new
shares. It also could raise its stake in Renault, though that process could
get complicated and involve legal battles.
Some analysts say Ghosn’s ouster also reflects nationalism at Nissan.

“There is a strong sense among Nissan employees that Nissan must be
Japanese,” said Tetsuya Watanabe, a critic on economic issues, describing
the handling of Ghosn’s case as “kamikaze.”
Takaki Nakanishi, auto analyst and chief executive at Nakanishi Research
Institute Co. in Tokyo, said the “traditional people at Nissan” were unhappy
that foreign interests had more say in management than they did.
“They were also afraid Nissan will be unfairly used for French stakeholders
or the ambitions of Carlos Ghosn,” he said. “Inside Nissan, I felt, there
was a lot of confusion, complaining, fear.”
[© kogonuso.com]


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Embattled CEO Ghosn resigned from Renault

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https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1121126_carlos-ghosn-electric-car-proponent-and-embattled-executive-quit-as-renault-boss
Carlos Ghosn, electric-car proponent and embattled executive, quit as
Renault boss
Jan 24, 2019 ... Renault on Thursday announced that Ghosn resigned from his
top spot as chairman and CEO of that automaker too, throwing into doubt the
now-shaky alliance Ghosn helped forge between all three automakers that
resulted in one of the world's largest automaking powerhouses and his own
legacy as a chief proponent of mass-market electric vehicles sold around the
world ... Nissan said it would be committed to staying part of the
Renault-Mitsubishi-Nissan group—the Alliance—although it's unclear how it
may change. Renault owns a 43.4 percent share of Nissan, with voting rights,
but Nissan's non-voting 15 percent ownership stake in Renault has been
criticized by some in Japan as unfair ...


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