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The Gosn scandal could boost the Renault-Nissan alliance to the point of violation



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From Paul Eisenstein

Following Nissan's board for the unanimous vote to overthrow Carlos Gosn during an emergency meeting at the headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, some industry observers wonder exactly what really involves the case.

The board of the French partner of the French alliance Renault, Renault, in particular, did not decide to overthrow Ghosn as his CEO while he was waiting for clear evidence. Several sources say NBC News is suspecting why Gas was even arrested.

The 64-year-old CEO was arrested on Monday in Japan and accused of failing to report his incomes for nearly $ 45 million and misusing the company's assets. Brazil's executive director may remain in custody in Tokyo ten days before prosecutors decide whether to file a formal charge.

This may include a "deadly policy and an international business intrigue," says Joe Philippi of AutoTrends Consulting. While he warned that it could be "partial," he quickly added that it was not "out of the realm of the possibility" that the allegations against Goyn were motivated by an internal corporate dispute.

It was repeated in half a dozen other talks with those in or near Nissan, with sources reiterating the fact that there was a sharp drop between Ghosn and Saikawa, who replaced Ghosn as chief executive of Nissan last year.

"Companies can usually give you a slap on your hand," when you play a little bit of freedom using things like a corporate jet or charge for an account that is not justified, a veteran of Nissan said, but " arrested their president and put them in jail. "

If the case is not strong, some viewers in the industry predict that Saikawa might give up on herself. Nissan CEO seemed clearly confident in the charges that were brought against Gosne at a news conference in the corporate headquarters on Monday, stating: "Beyond that I am sorry that I feel great disappointment, frustration, despair, resentment and dissatisfaction."

But he also may have signaled a personal element of the case, suggesting that Gosn received too much strength and may have stayed in his position for too long.

Gosn joined Renault in 1996, brought to repair the French company's finances. He put him in black for only a year, earning the nickname "Le costs a killer". Gosn was then sent to Japan in 1999, after Renault bought 38.6 percent of shares in Nissan to carry out a mass reversal plan. Originally appointed Chief Operating Officer, Ghosn was soon elevated to the CEO after Japan's automaker began to make profits and cut its crippled debt. He was then named CEO of Renault and held the same place in the umbrella organization now known as Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.

In his various positions, Gosn not only had to deal with the conduct of a widespread business empire, but also with the political pressures associated with the Franco-Japanese group. In 2017, the French government cut its stakes in Renault – partly because of the maneuver by Gon – to 15 percent. But it still has a significant impact and presses for further consolidation of the automaker from Paris and Nissan, something that French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire highlighted this week.

If nothing else, Nissan has been pushing for a little more independence under Saikawa. But Reuters quotes the company's sources as he suggests "There is a sense of crisis in the (Japanese) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which according to this rate, Nissan and Mitsubishi will be taken over by the French government."

Some observers warn that things could go the other way for the alliance, if the French press too hard – or the Japanese maneuver too aggressively to prevent the takeover.

Earlier this week, Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko said the alliance itself with which Gon is spotted together is in jeopardy. "I do not think there is anyone else on Earth like Ghosn who can manage Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi," he said.

Those on the French and Japanese side of the Alliance are trying to minimize such problems. Saikawa expressed her desire to keep what was a massively positive relationship that last year passed the Volkswagen Volkswagen to become the best-selling automotive group in the world by single volume.

While those on the Renault side continued to seek evidence of Gon's alleged crimes, the company also issued a statement stating it was "committed to defending Renault's interest in the alliance.

"But there is no doubt that the loss of Ghosn will be a big challenge," said Max Varberton, an analyst at Bernstein. "It's hard not to conclude that there may be a bay opening between Renault and Nissan. "

Additional questions arise regarding the justification of Nissan's charges and Gosn's arrest, several sources have suggested, that the bay could turn into an ocean. And this could put a new, unattractive focus on Saikawa itself.


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