|Carlos Ghosn still maintains he was framed by Nissan as a way to stop the Renault/Nissan merger|
The ongoing criminal and conspiratorial saga of Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s former chairman, was reignited once again by Ghosn’s wife Carole speaking with CNBC.
Ms. Ghosn has stood by her husband through his initial and subsequent arrests, and she has been vocal with her belief that Nissan’s board plotted with Japanese government officials to see the former chairman removed and jailed due to his plan for Nissan to merge with French automaker Renault. Carole Ghosn’s latest testimony came via an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell" where she stated “A few people within Nissan decided to get rid of my husband," and “that that was the easiest way not to do the [Renault-Nissan] merger."
Ms. Ghosn’s comments come just two months after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post claiming similar conspiracies and pleading with United States President Donald Trump to assist in the former chairman’s plight. In her appeal, Ms. Ghosn stated that she had evidence that Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry was working with Nissan’s executives in order to halt Mr. Ghosn’s proposed merger with Renault.
Mr. Ghosn is accused of improper payments, financial irregularities, underreporting his salary, and during the 2008 financial crisis, transferring his own personal losses over to Nissan’s books. Mr. Ghosn himself has also emphatically stated that he is innocent, though Nissan has claimed the company has volumes of evidence implicating the former chairman. One Nissan spokesperson told CNBC that, “The sole cause of this chain of events is the misconduct led by Ghosn."
Though Renault and Nissan never fully merged, the two companies form the Renault-Nissan Alliance which saw technology and parts sharing. That could soon change. Recently, Fiat Chrysler announced that it had proposed a 50-50 merger with Renault. The French automaker acknowledged the proposal and stated that it was taking the proposal seriously. The resulting merger, if it happens, would make Fiat Chrysler Renault the third largest auto manufacturer in the world.
At the announcement of the proposed merger, Nissan’s CEO Hiroto Saikawa stated that FCA’s proposal would “require a fundamental review of the existing relationship between Nissan and Renault." As such, the proposed Fiat Chrysler-Renault merger could finally give Nissan the ability to leave the Alliance, something both Ghosns assert was the end goal of Mr. Ghosn’s ouster.
Ms. Ghosn ended her interview stating, “I think with time, we will see more clarity on this story. And people now realize…this was a conspiracy [to stop Nissan’s merger] leveled against my husband."