The Shock After the Arrest of Carlos Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn leaves Nissan with the many loose ends of his misconduct 1 photo
Photo: Nissan
Nearly 24 hours have passed since Carlos Ghosn, one of the leading figures in the auto industry, was detained in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.
A full day that seems not to be nearly enough to precisely say what this will mean for Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi and all the thousands of people working for one of the largest car groups of the planet.

Firstly, Ghosn. Nissan said on Monday the Alliance’s chairman was under investigation for several months after an unnamed whistleblower alerted the Japanese about his habit of under-reporting compensation amounts to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. During the investigation, other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered.

What these acts of misconduct are is a mystery at this point, but the overall feeling is they must be incredibly serious. These acts pushed Nissan to announce Ghosn will be removed from his post, then Mitsubishi continued the trend denouncing the Alliance’s leader, and then finally Renault is expected to do the same on Tuesday, after the board's meeting.

Secondly, the Alliance. The news of Ghosn misbehaving is so big that even presidents got involved. France’s Emmanuel Macron said on Monday his country "will be extremely vigilant to the stability of the alliance and the group." He also promised support for the company’s employees.

His comments fueled concerns that whatever Ghosn did, it’s serious enough to shake the foundations of the Alliance between Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi.

At a press conference that left more unanswered questions that journalists would have liked, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa tried to water down those concerns.

If he succeeded or not is another matter. The reality remains that shares of both Nissan and Renault tumbled on Monday. If they rebound or continue to drop, if the Alliance will survive, it all depends on what exactly it is Ghosn did, and how much the companies themselves are involved.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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