Canadian Manufacturing

Nissan CEO Ghosn to take control of struggling Mitsubishi

Carlos Ghosn, who already heads Nissan and Renault, said Mitsubishi's current chairman and CEO, Osamu Masuko, would stay on as CEO



Nissan Motor Co. president Carlos Ghosn. PHOTO Nissan

Nissan Motor Co. president Carlos Ghosn. PHOTO Nissan

TOKYO—Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Japan’s Nissan Motor, said he will become chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, presiding over efforts to turn the troubled automaker around.

The Brazilian-born Frenchman, who already heads Nissan and Renault, said Mitsubishi’s current chairman and CEO, Osamu Masuko, would stay on as CEO.

“I speak for all of us when I say we will give our absolute commitment to support Mitsubishi Motors,” Ghosn said.

He said Nissan would provide skills and expertise needed to help restore trust, enhance regulatory compliance and improve governance at Mitsubishi.

“We are sending a clear message we believe in the underlying strength of Japanese car making,” Ghosn said.

Nissan agreed to take charge at Mitsubishi after the company acknowledged in April that it cheated to inflate mileage for two of its minicar models, the eK wagon and eK Space, and mini-vehicles it made for Nissan.

The two companies say they plan to maintain separate identities, brands and dealerships after the deal. But Nissan will nominate four new board members.

The mileage scandal widened in August after the government ordered a halt to sales of eight more Mitsubishi models, including the Pajero sport utility vehicle, after finding their mileage ratings also were falsely inflated. The transport ministry said the cruise range on the i-MiEV electric car was also overstated.

No overseas models are affected.

Mitsubishi’s vehicle sales in Japan have nosedived and the company faces costs of compensating tens of thousands of vehicle owners in Japan.

Mitsubishi’s reputation was already marred by a massive, systematic and decades-long coverup of defects that surfaced in the early 2000s.

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