Automotive News

Former CEO Carlos Ghosn Says Nissan Will Be Bankrupt By 2022

Not that he has an agenda or anything but ex-Nissan Chairman, CEO, fugitive, and automotive Houdini Carlos Ghosn says Nissan will be bankrupt by 2022. He told defense attorney Nobuo Gohara this and many other things in 10 hours of interviews while under Japanese house arrest. The interviews were done in 2019 according to Bloomberg. Of course, now he’s in Beirut, Lebanon, after his great escape from arrest in Japan. 

Nissan is certainly in dire straits right now. It is in the process of eliminating 12,000 jobs. It has also furloughing all employees for two days this month and canceling all non-essential travel. This is all in an effort to slow down the bleeding from lack of sales and profits.

Leading one in believing Nissan will be bankrupt are its 2019 profit picture and more

A picture from the inside of a Nissan Titan showing the steering wheel.
2020 Nissan Titan | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The second quarter of 2019 saw a 70% profit drop with an operating forecast cut by 35%. Hiroto Saikawa replaced Ghosn before he, too, was charged with similar crimes. Nissan is now overseen by current CEO Makoto Uchida. To soften the news of Nissan’s poor health Makoto says its cash reserves are healthy. There will also be a wave of new products ready to begin debuts this year and in 2021.

Many of the vehicles in Nissan’s portfolio have gone many years without even an update. In the especially hot pickup truck market, its full-size Titan and midsize Frontier have gone over a decade without any substantive changes.

Ghosn told Gohara Nissan will go bankrupt while interviewing for a book

TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 06: Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyer’s office on March 06, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Ghosn was released from the Tokyo Detention House on bail after 108 days in detention. Ghosn, a veteran of the auto industry, was arrested for financial misconduct and accusations he underreported his compensation between 2011 and 2015 by more than 5 billion yen and used company assets for personal use. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)

“He told me that Nissan will probably go bankrupt within two to three years,” Gohara said at a Tokyo news conference yesterday. Gohara met with Ghosn for a book he was going to write about his incarceration and upcoming trial. Now it looks like there will be no trial with Lebanon not having extradition arrangements with Japan. 

The he said/she said is that Ghosn fled Japan undercover because he says he wouldn’t receive a fair and speedy trial. He spent 130 days in a Tokyo jail before being released on $13 million bail under strict conditions. Japanese prosecutors accused him of numerous charges including using company funds for personal gain, underreporting income, and breach of trust. 

Two or three guards were with Ghosn at all times

Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Carlos Ghosn presents the Renault K-ZE for the Chinese market during a world premiere as part of an Renault “electric evening” on October 1, 2018 on the eve of the first press day of the Paris Motor Show. (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP) (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images)

At the time of his arrest in 2019, Ghosn was head of an alliance that included Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi. While under house arrest he couldn’t communicate with his wife and could only use a computer in his lawyer’s office. There were two or three guards with Ghosn most of the time.

Since his escape, Ghosn has said he believes his arrest was a conspiracy to remove him before he could finish a merger of Nissan and Renault. He says this was orchestrated between Nissan and Japanese prosecutors. There is now a Japanese arrest warrant for Ghosn and his wife, Carole. 

Ghosn had planned on moving close aid Greg Kelly to become head of Nissan when his arrest took place. Kelly was also arrested and charged with the same crimes. Gohara says that Kelly now has a good chance of proving he is not guilty “because the same issues are at stake for both Kelly and Ghosn. Kelly’s exoneration will mean Ghosn is also innocent.”