Former Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn levied criticism at his former employers in an interview on Sunday, describing the Renault and Nissan results “pathetic”, driven as much by a lack of joint leadership instead of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ghosn, who has been the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors as well, was arrested in Japan in 2018 on allegations of underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal purposes. Ghosn has denied those charges. He fled to Lebanon from Japan in December 2019.
“There is a market confidence problem in the alliance. Personally, I find the results of Nissan and Renault pathetic. The two companies are looking inwards. There is no longer any real mix of management between Renault and Nissan, but a distrustful distance,” Ghosn said in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper.
Ghosn compared the share price decline from November 2018 to June 2020 of competitors General Motors and Toyota Motor of 12% and 15% respectively to Nissan declining 55% and Renault 70%.
“All of these manufacturers are facing the same COVID crisis, but Renault and Nissan are being punished more than the others,” Ghosn said.
Ghosn fled Japan to Lebanon, where he spent his childhood before, in December as he awaited trial on charges of underreporting earnings, breach of trust, and misuse of company funds, all of which he denied and alleged Nissan of organizing a coup against him.
Ghosn was questioned in Lebanon in January. He has said he is going to corporate with the Lebanese judicial process, but it is not clear what cooperation there will be between Tokyo and Beirut.
French prosecutors have also continued their investigation into alleged misappropriation by Ghosn of funds at Renault and had summoned him in France on July 13, but he never showed up.
“There is a technical obstacle. My passport is in the hands of the attorney general in Lebanon, because Japan has issued an international arrest warrant for me,” Ghosn said.
“I also want to be sure that my security is assured and that I am guaranteed freedom of movement,” Ghosn added.