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Ghosn Indicted Again

This time Ghosn faces charges of “breach of trust,” as colleague Greg Kelly and Nissan also indicted.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.11, 2019

Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, shown here in January 2018, reportedly has lost over 20 pounds while in detention.

Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been indicted again, this time on charged of breach of trust, a development that could again delay his release on bail.

The once-powerful executive has been held in solitary confinement in the Tokyo Detention Center since his arrest on November 19 and already faces charges related to claims he underreported his income by about $44 million between 2011 and 2015. Prosecutors are reportedly looking at other potential charges that arose from a months-long investigation conducted by Nissan.

Breaking News!

Ghosn, who claimed innocence during his first court hearing earlier this week, wasn’t the only one to face a legal setback on Friday. Prosecutors also laid out charges against the 64-year-old executive’s former colleague Greg Kelly, as well as Nissan itself.

(more…)

Ousted Nissan Chairman Ghosn Expected to Be Indicted Monday

Japanese reports anticipate charges for financial misconduct.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.07, 2018

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is expected to be indicted next week by Japanese prosecutors.

After languishing in the Tokyo Detention Centre for nearly three weeks, facing regular grilling by Japanese prosecutors, ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is expected to be formally indicted on Monday, the Nikkei business daily is reporting.

Ghosn and Nissan board member Greg Kelly were arrested nearly three weeks ago as they flew into Japan, authorities responding to a report by the second-largest Japanese automaker that alleged the pair engaged in financial misconduct. Ghosn, in particular, allegedly failed to report millions of dollars in income while also misappropriating Nissan funds, among other things, to purchase homes in Rio de Janeiro and Beirut. He is Lebanese by heritage but grew up in Brazil.

Global News!

The Nov. 19 arrests, which marked the downfall of one of the industry’s most powerful executives, have stunned the automotive community. They have also generated a number of questions about why Ghosn was taken into custody and put in the position of possibly serving a decade in prison, rather than simply facing civil penalties. Some observers have suggested he may be an unwitting pawn in a battle for control between Nissan and the French automaker Renault which rescued the then-failing Japanese automaker in 1999. (more…)

A “Too Powerful” Carlos Ghosn Also Booted From Mitsubishi

Questions raised about reasons for his arrest.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.26, 2018

Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested by Japanese investigators and is being held during the query.

Carlos Ghosn, until recently one of the most powerful men in the global auto industry, suffered yet another setback on Monday, the board of Mitsubishi Motors ousting him as company chairman.

The news comes while Ghosn remains in custody, prosecutors in Tokyo probing allegations that the 64-year-old executive under-reported his income while also misusing potentially millions of dollars in funds while serving as chief executive, and later chairman, of Nissan Motor Co. Nissan severed ties with the executive last Thursday in response to an internal probe that raised concerns about Ghosn’s alleged misdeeds.

Global News!

But some observers are questioning why Ghosn was not only fired from both Nissan and Mitsubishi, but also arrested after landing in Tokyo last week. Such concerns were escalated by comments made by Nissan’s current CEO and Ghosn rival, Hirota Saikawa, who reportedly told employees on Monday that Ghosn had become too powerful in his multiple roles with Nissan, Mitsubishi and their French alliance partner Renault. (more…)

EZ-Ultimo: A Design Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, Could Enjoy

Autonomous ride-sharing concept would target only the most elite customers.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.04, 2018

Renault designers must have been given the freedom to indulge themselves with the EZ-Ultimo concept shown in Paris.

Only the French could have gone to market with vehicles like the DS9 and the 2CV – the deux chevaux, as it was better known. And only the French could have rolled out some of the wild and crazy concepts that populated this year’s Paris Motor Show.

As the media days wrap up, the public will be treated to the retro-futuristic Peugeot e-Legend concept, as well as the DS E-Tense, an electric supercar. But easily one of the most talked-about cars at an otherwise light Paris show was also one of the strangest, Renault’s EZ-Ultimo, which has alternately been compared to the Batmobile and “a rolling palace.”

Global News!

But the best way to think about this fully driverless prototype is the marriage of a personal jet and a ride-share vehicle – one that is completely autonomous. (more…)

Ghosn Dismisses Speculation of a Renault Takeover of Alliance

Complex ownership structure, that includes French government, makes it difficult.

by Michael Strong on Jun.26, 2018

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn recently reiterated there is "zero chance" of Renault taking over Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The question of what company in the three-legged stool that is Renault Nissan Mitsubishi might acquire the other two has been broached a few times since Mitsubishi was added. The issue is apparently important enough for Carlos Ghosn, who heads up the three companies, to address recently.

“Anybody who will ask Nissan and Mitsubishi to become wholly owned subsidiaries of Renault has zero chance of getting a result,” Ghosn told shareholders of Mitsubishi Motors at a meeting las week.

Stay in the Loop!

Ghosn is CEO of Renault as well and chairman of Nissan. He recently turned over the role of CEO there to Hiroto Saikawa. The simple reason for encouraging the automakers to work together but remain autonomous is simple: You don’t fix what isn’t broken. (more…)

Update: Ghosn Successor Plan Wins Thumbs Up from French Government – But Support Comes with Stiff Price

France demanding Renault formally merge with Japanese ally Nissan.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.12, 2018

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn will get the man he wants to succeed him when he retires: COO Thierry Bollore.

Carlos Ghosn’s plan to name his successor later this week has cleared a critical hurdle despite creating some turmoil – including the resignation of one of French automaker Renault’s senior board members.

The French government, which owns a major stake in Renault, now says it will accept Ghosn’s plan to appoint Thierry Bollore as the carmaker’s chief operating officer and his heir-apparent. But the government also said that it wants an agreement that Ghosn will push to form an “integrated” company – translation: a merger – with Japan’s Nissan, rather than the current alliance structure. Ghosn has long preferred to see the two companies coordinate efforts but remain independent.

News You Can Trust!

Ghosn, who will turn 64 next month, is expected to be given another four-year contract as chairman, CEO and president of Renault in June, but naming Bollore his successor “is perfectly acceptable to the French shareholder,” according to a source in the government’s finance ministry who spoke to the Reuters news service on Monday. (more…)

Turmoil at Renault as Ghosn Preps to Name Successor

Senior board member ousted.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.12, 2018

Thierry Bollore, currently chief operating officer of Renault, is CEO Carlos Ghosn's choice to succeed him when he retires.

Carlos Ghosn’s plan to name a successor is touching off turmoil within the board of directors at French automaker Renault, according to reports out of Europe.

Senior board member Thierry Desmarest has resigned, according to the Reuters news service, following the recent resignation of Stefan Mueller, Renault’s chief performance officer. Their departures appears to clear the way for Ghosn to name Thierry Bollore as his chief operating officer and heir apparent.

News Now!

One of the highest-profile executives in the automotive world, Ghosn has taken on a variety of senior positions since he was first assigned to rescue the Japanese side of what became the Renault-Nissan Alliance two decades ago. That includes serving as CEO of both Renault and the Alliance, as well as chief executive of Mitsubishi, which recently became third member of the group. (more…)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Creates $1 Bil Venture Fund

“We can’t everything ourselves,” says Ghosn.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.10, 2018

The new fund is expected to invest about $200 million annually in new technology and services.

The Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance will invest around $1 billion over the next five years to help it fund start-ups and other small tech companies that can help it bring to market electrified, connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn announced Tuesday.

The corporate venture capital, or CVC, fund is intended not only to give the Franco-Japanese alliance access to potentially breakthrough technology but to help it make decisions more quickly than is normally the case for a big corporation, Ghosn said during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Tech News!

“We can do everything ourselves,” explained the Brazilian-born executive. “We have to get access to people who think about things in different ways.”

(more…)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Creating $200M Mobility Tech Fund

Franco-Japanese alliance also setting up new robo-taxi project.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.05, 2018

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, will discuss plans for its $200 million mobility tech fund at CES.

These are challenging times for even the most well-funded automakers. The industry is expected to change more during the next decade than it has during the last century, and carmakers need to stay on top of technologies such as electrification, connected cars and autonomous vehicles, never mind business shifts, such as the rise of car- and ride-sharing services such as Car2Go, Uber and Lyft.

That’s leading the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to set up a $200 million mobility tech fund, according to a report by the Reuters news service. The alliance’s CEO Carlos Ghosn is expected to announce details during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early next week.

The Last Word!

Separately, officials with the Franco-Japanese alliance announced plans to set up a consortium aimed at putting robo-taxis into commercial use. Among other things, that could include existing ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, as well as Waymo which is developing its own autonomous and driverless technologies. The Google spinoff has said it does not plan to produce its own vehicles. (more…)

List Grows as More Automakers Plan to Go Electric

Renault wants hybrids, EVs to generate half its sales by 2022.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.06, 2017

Renault now plans to have electric vehicles comprise 50% of its sales by 2022.

French automaker Renault, a pioneer in the drive to electrify, now wants hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles to account for half of its global sales by 2022.

The carmaker is echoing the strategy of its Japanese alliance partner Nissan, which also sees a future increasingly dependent upon electric propulsion systems like the one used in its Leaf model, the world’s best-selling all-electric automobile. More broadly, some of the industry’s largest manufacturers, including General Motors and Volkswagen, as well as smaller and niche players such as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and even Aston Martin, have in recent weeks announced similar plans to shift to electric propulsion.

News You Can Trust!

“We are confident we can turn upcoming … challenges into significant business opportunities,” said Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, who also serves as chief executive of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. (more…)