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William Maley

Mitsubishi News: Rumorpile: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn To Become Mitsubishi Motors' Chairman

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Progress seems to be going on with Nissan taking a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors. Japanese business paper The Nikkei reports that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors once the deal is set. Sources tell the Nikkei that current chairman and president Osamu Masuko has been asked to stay on as president. When reached for comment, spokespeople at Mitsubishi and Nissan declined to comment. However, Masuko has confirmed that he was asked to stay on as president by Ghosn. Masuko went on to say that this would be discussed further tomorrow.  

Nissan is planning to send four of its directors, including Ghosn to Mitsubishi Motors to right the ship after it was revealed that a number of Mitsubishi vehicles had false fuel economy figures. 

Ghosn has a track record of bringing beleaguered companies to full heath - Renault in the 1990s and Nissan in the early 2000s. Some analysts believe this is right move.

"This is a man who patched up Renault in the 1990s, and he did a lot for Nissan in the 2000s, so I'm sure he looks at Mitsubishi Motors as a new challenge," said CLSA analyst Christopher Richter to Reuters.

"He's a turnaround artist. This is what he does best," said Richter. Ghosn at the helm of Mitsubishi Motors' board would "remove an enormous burden from the Mitsubishi group companies."

“It’s easier for him to do things he did at Nissan, such as combining platforms, cutting costs and even closing plants. In order to implement such massive restructuring, you need someone as powerful as Ghosn to get things going,” said Koji Endo, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at SBI Securities Co to Bloomberg.

Others aren't too keen.

“I think he has enough work to be done at both Renault and Nissan. He should also spend all his time in these two companies rather than taking on another job in Japan,” said Hans-Peter Wodniok, a Frankfurt-based analyst with AlphaValue.

Source: Nikkei, (2), Reuters, Bloomberg


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