Carlos Ghosn Showers Elon Musk and Tesla With Praise, But Not His Former Company

You should probably not take the word of advice of someone who’s basically a prisoner in his own house because he’s wanted internationally on misconduct and fraud charges, but here’s Carlos Ghosn giving it anyways.
Carlos Ghosn speaks from exile, to share his thoughts on the future of the auto industry 1 photo
The former (and disgraced) Nissan boss is currently in Lebanon, where he fled in late 2019 while on bail in Japan, facing serious financial misconduct and fraud charges. Since he’s a wanted man internationally, he’s also pretty much a prisoner in his own home, which, rumor has it, is guarded non-stop by armed guards lest any of his enemies get strange ideas.

All that is not stopping Carlos Ghosn from giving out interviews. Last week, he sat down for a zoom chat with CNBC’s Closing Bell, where he revealed that he’d been writing a book and shared his thoughts on the future of the automotive industry, once the current health crisis is contained. Ghosn isn’t seeing the sun shine on Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi’s street for much longer – or, at least, not if they don’t adapt to the ever-changing market.

On the topic, Ghosn praised Tesla CEO Elon Musk for “establishing a vision” and carving out a path for every other carmaker out there to follow, should they desire it.

“I’m not very – optimistic – knowing what I know,” he says. “And particularly – the excuses and the explanation they are giving for the difficulties – not only in Nissan, but also at Renault and Mitsubishi models. […] In a certain way, I can’t blame them. Now – is it excessive or not? Well – this will depend a lot on the future performance of Tesla. But I must say that Elon has done a great job into getting out all the potential of the company and exciting the markets. And this is to his benefit.”

To be sure, what Ghosn is saying is neither new nor surprising. Tesla has been making progress in leaps and bounds, which is all the more notable considering it’s coming on the backdrop of the strangest, low-profit year in a very long time. At the same time, Tesla’s progress has highlighted how far behind the other companies are, so he’s also speaking the truth here. The only strange part here is that, even considering that Ghosn denied all the accusations brought against him, his opinion is still being asked for.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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