Nissan denies corporate conspiracy to oust ex-chairman Ghosn

Former Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn's arrest in Japan in 2018 on financial misconduct charges has led to much speculation that the move was orchestrated by Nissan executives who opposed closer ties with partner Renault SA.
Former Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn's arrest in Japan in 2018 on financial misconduct charges has led to much speculation that the move was orchestrated by Nissan executives who opposed closer ties with partner Renault SA.
Image: Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Nissan Motor Co Ltd on Monday blasted suggestions in media reports of a conspiracy within the company to oust former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Ghosn's arrest in Japan in 2018 on financial misconduct charges has led to much speculation that the move was orchestrated by Nissan executives who opposed closer ties with partner Renault SA.

“I know that in books and the media there has been talk about a conspiracy, but there are no facts whatsoever to support this,” Motoo Nagai, chairman of Nissan's auditing committee, told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting.

Responding to demands from a shareholder to address the speculation, Nagai argued that the investigation into Ghosn was conducted both internally and by outside law firms.

Monday's meeting lasted almost two hours, twice as long as planned, as shareholders grilled chief executive Makoto Uchida on how he planned to restore trust in the company following the Ghosn scandal, and revive sales in the US and China.

Uchida, who took the helm in December, told shareholders he would stick to his promise to step down as leader if he fails to deliver on a turnaround plan for the Japanese car maker, which last month reported its first annual loss in 11 years.

Seeking to slash costs and downsize after years of excessive spending in the pursuit of market share, Nissan plans to cut its model range by about a fifth and reduce production capacity, shuttering plants in Spain and Indonesia and laying off workers in countries including Mexico.

It now aims to sell five million vehicles a year, far fewer than past ambitions of eight million.


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