Mitsubishi Motors board to decide on status of Carlos Ghosn
Published: 04:42 PM, 26 November 2018 Updated: 04:42 PM, 26 November 2018
The board of Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors, which is allied with Renault and Nissan, met Monday to decide whether to keep or oust Carlos Ghosn as its chairman after his arrest last week.
Prosecutors arrested Ghosn on Nov. 19 on suspicion of under-reporting his income by $44 million over five years. Nissan Motor Co., which already has ousted him as its chairman, says an internal investigation found Ghosn abused company money and assets.
Seven of Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s eight-member boards were meeting in Tokyo, the company said.
Ghosn's arrest in Tokyo marked a stunning fall for an executive who dominated the Japanese auto industry for two decades and spearheaded Nissan's alliance with Renault SA of France.
Ghosn also led the addition of Mitsubishi into the alliance. Nissan took a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi in 2016 after the smaller automaker was embroiled in an inspections reporting scandal.
Japanese media, citing unidentified sources, have reported that Ghosn and Greg Kelly, an executive who was arrested on suspicion of collaborating with Ghosn, are asserting their innocence. Ghosn has not commented publicly.
The two executives have not yet been charged. Under Japanese law, a suspect can be held in custody for up to three weeks per suspected charge without any charges being filed.
Renault has kept Ghosn as chief executive. But considering the makeup of Mitsubishi's board little opposition to his dismissal is expected.
The board consists of Ghosn, Mitsubishi Motors Chief Executive Osamu Masuko, two people from Nissan, two from the Mitsubishi group companies and two outsiders - a writer and an academic.
Worries are growing about the future of the alliance between Renault and Nissan. The future of the alliance with Mitsubishi, being more recent, could be even more precarious.
Alliances often benefit automakers because they share technology, auto parts, and supplier and sales networks. Sales volume tends to lower costs.
Analysts say such sharing has been growing in importance as companies develop electric vehicles, net connectivity and artificial intelligence for autos.
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