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What Happened With Carlos Ghosn and Nissan?

(AP)

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Friday, 10 January 2020 01:05 PM Current | Bio | Archive

This world news story has greater impact other than the intrigue of the escape of Nissan ex-CEO, Carlos Ghosn.

From the original unexpected arrest to the release, re-arrest and then the great escape to Lebanon.

The story continues with Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan Motor Co. — and the creator of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

Many people do not know his name, what Ghosn did to save Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi and why he was arrested.

Are the allegations true that he embezzled millions of dollars and then misappropriation of funds? After almost 10 years, there’s a sudden accusation that somehow got overlooked or was this a coup to change the future of the alliance and of Nissan.

Many are intrigued by the great escape and how it was planned. Others want to know the financial future of these companies. With all these questions, its best to explain why this is important and the impact to three major car companies. 

Who is Carlos Ghosn-

Carlos Ghosn, is a successful businessman, engineer and who holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizenship. Ghosn has served as the CEO of Michelin North America, chairman and CEO of Renault, chairman of AvtoVAZ, chairman and CEO of Nissan, and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors.

What did he do for Nissan?

Ghosn was a turnaround master. He saved the future of Renault and after nearly two decades after saving Nissan from the brink of financial collapse, he took on Mitsubishi Motors and created an alliance that helped all three companies.

Why did he get arrested?

In November 2018, he was arrested with Greg Kelly, a lawyer and board member (U.S. citizen). Japanese police arrested Ghosn when he arrived at a Tokyo airport in his private jet and prosecutors accused him of under-reporting his salary by roughly half over a five-year period through March 2015.

Ghosn, 65, the former head of Renault-Nissan alliance, and one of the best-known figures in the car industry, faces four charges - which he denies - including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to dealerships in the Middle East.

Japanese prosecutors arrested Ghosn again on new allegations of making Nissan shoulder $16.6 million in personal investment losses

Ghosn, who had been detained for more than 100 days, left a Tokyo prison on a $9 million bail, slipping past reporters in a face mask and moving closer to mounting a defense against financial misconduct charges that he has called "meritless."

Japanese prosecutors arrested Ghosn again on suspicion the former Nissan boss had tried to enrich himself at the automaker's expense, in another dramatic twist that his lawyers said was an attempt to muzzle him.

Japanese law puts him in captivity. Ghosn, who was only allowed to use a computer set up in his lawyer's office, also surrendered his passports.

Why is all this happening?

This was a coup, per Ghosn, Nissan did not want to merge with Renault. Top executes at Nissan could not figure out how to stop this merger which Carlos Ghosn said would be the best way to save all three companies to become profitable and sell more vehicles. This is where FCA comes into play, there was a potential merger of all four companies to make them stronger. It was a smart partnership that would allow all companies to make more money. But once Ghosn was arrested, FCA was gone. FCA will with merge with PSA.

How & why did escape?

Ghosn said he had fled to Lebanon to escape a “rigged” justice system in Japan. Ghosn, apparently fed up with his trial delays, his inability to see his wife, and the justice system as a whole, seemingly decided he didn't want to face trial in Japan. According to multiple unverified reports, Ghosn hired an ex-special-forces specializing in extradition of people in captivity. Ghosn left the apartment that he was being held, crawled into an audio visual case with holes. Ghosn was allegedly whisked to the VIP gate of Kansai International Airport and onto a private jet bound for Istanbul, Turkey and then to another plane to Lebanon. Officials in Turkey have already detained seven aviation workers allegedly connected to the escape, probing how Ghosn made it into and out of that country and why that route was chosen.

Ghosn's slippery escape from Japan makes this an international scandal. Interpol, the agency that helps coordinate police activity between countries, has given Lebanon a "red notice" for Ghosn's arrest. A red notice isn't the same as an arrest warrant, but it is a request for a country's authorities to arrest a fugitive pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

An Interpol red notice is issued on behalf of a member state, meaning that Ghosn is wanted by Japan and Turkey, not by Interpol itself. A red notice is not binding, meaning it's up to the Lebanese government to decide whether to arrest Ghosn. Lebanon does not extradite its own citizens to face trial in other nations, and Ghosn is a citizen, so as long as he stays within the country's borders.

What’s going to happen now? Can he prove innocence?

I believe that Nissan set Ghosn up, and he held a press conference to proclaim his innocence. The press conference was intense and offers documentation of proof that showed that something wasn’t sounding right on the part of Nissan and the Japanese legal system. Ghosn wants to set the record straight, and is willing to go to any court, except the Japanese courts.

There are three possibilities of how this will end. Ghosn will be found not guilty in Japan and, they keep his $13.7 million as a penalty. Japan may bend to public pressure and global shock and find Ghosn not guilty with no repercussions, because he’s not in Japan, loss of $13.7 million bail, or he becomes a prisoner to the countries that will not extradite to Japan.

We shall see how the rest unfolds as each of the car companies have taken a huge financial hit in sales and profits. The results are not bright for all involved.

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.

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LaurenFix
We shall see how the rest unfolds as each of the car companies have taken a huge financial hit in sales and profits. The results are not bright for any involved.
carlos ghosn, nissan, arrest, auto, cars
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2020-05-10
Friday, 10 January 2020 01:05 PM
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