Wait!? Nissan is being indicted, too? For what?
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, the man responsible for the Nissan Leaf, GT-R and a host of other highly successful vehicles, has been sitting in a cold Japanese prison cell since November 19, the day he was arrested. Japanese prosecutors have until tomorrow, Monday December 10, to either indict, release, or re-arrest him on charges of underreporting income since 2010, according to Reuters, citing a report from Japan’s Nikkei business daily. Along with Ghosn, prosecutors intend to charge former Nissan director Greg Kelly for assisting Ghosn, along with Nissan itself. That’s right. Nissan is also facing some serious legal troubles in its home country. While Ghosn and Kelly are likely to be re-arrested on suspicion of making misstatements in five separate salary reports, Nissan is also expected to be charged for not stopping the alleged crime.
Basically, Japanese law holds its domestic companies accountable even when individuals, such as Ghosn, make false statements in official company reports.
When the scandal broke last month, Nissan admitted it also uncovered “significant acts of misconduct” elsewhere in the company, though no specifics have been provided. Ghosn was quickly removed as Nissan chairman in a boardroom meeting following his arrest. He has also been removed from his position of Mitsubishi CEO. However, he still remains the chairman and CEO of Renault, the third partner in the alliance.
Speaking of which, will the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance manage to survive this turmoil? Neither the French nor Japanese governments want it to come crumbling down, but we would not be surprised to see Nissan demand more influence in order to remain.
Many believe Ghosn may have been ousted in sort of a coup d’état because he simply had too much power. Ironically, Ghosn was the one who saved Nissan from financial disaster when he became CEO nearly two decades ago thanks to drastic cost-cutting measures. He then formed the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which has since become one of the world’s largest and most successful automakers.