The Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi car alliance may be difficult to handle without the unifying figure of chairman Carlos Ghosn, who is police custody in Japan dealing with financial misconduct allegations, Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko stated on Tuesday.
“I don’t think there is anyone else on Earth like Ghosn who could run Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi,” Masuko informed reporters in Tokyo.
Ghosn is chairman of Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motor as well as chairman and chief executive of Renault.
“The immediate problem is that while we still have people at the top of two companies, there is no one at the third,” Masuko included, referring to Renault.
Ghosn, 64, personally shaped the alliance and had vowed to consolidate it with a deeper tie-up, before ultimately stepping back from its operational leadership.
Arrested on Monday, Ghosn, is set to get fired by the Nissan board this week in a dramatic drop for a leader hailed for rescuing the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy.
Nissan stated an internal investigation triggered by a tip-off from a whistleblower had shown that he had engaged in misconduct including personal use of company money and under-reporting for years about his earnings.
Mitsubishi is also carrying out an internal probe of Ghosn’s activities and the board there will possibly meet by the end of next week to decide the chairman’s fate, Masuko stated.
Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan, that owns 15 percent of Renault, with no voting rights in a partnership that started in 1999. Since 2016, Nissan has held a 34 percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motor.