AMSTERDAM — Carlos Ghosn has launched a court case in the Netherlands against Japanese carmakers Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors, who ousted him as chairman of their alliance last year on charges of embezzlement, Dutch newspaper NRC reported on Saturday. Ghosn is seeking 15 million euros ($16.8 million) in damages from the carmakers, as grave mistakes were made when he was sacked, NRC reported, citing his lawyer. "In the Netherlands, if you want to fire an executive you have to first tell him what he's being accused of, and you have to provide him with the evidence for the accusations. Neither of those things has happened," lawyer Laurens de Graaf told NRC. Ghosn fell from grace late last year when he was arrested in Japan and sacked by Nissan on charges of financial misconduct, which he denies. He has also been fired as the CEO and chairman of French carmaker Renault. Ghosn was freed in April from jail in Japan on a $4.5 million bail. Among other charges of fraud and misconduct, Nissan and Mitsubishi have said Ghosn improperly received $9 million in compensation from their joint venture. Suspect expenses Ghosn made when he chaired Renault and Nissan amounted to about 11 million euros, Renault's board said in June. Ghosn holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, but opted for the fiscally more friendly Netherlands as his tax domicile in 2012. The holding company for the Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is also incorporated in the Netherlands. The district court in Amsterdam is reviewing the case but has not set a trial date yet, NRC said.
A French newspaper report says Nissan Motor's former chairman Carlos Ghosn is suing the firm and Mitsubishi Motors for damages over the cancelation of his employment contract with the two companies' joint venture in the Netherlands.
Le Figaro said in its online edition on Wednesday that Ghosn filed the lawsuit with a court in Amsterdam, seeking up to 15 million euros, or more than 16 million dollars, in damages.
TOKYO — Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn on Friday abruptly canceled plans for what would have been his first press conference since his arrest in November, after journalists had been notified about a briefing just two hours earlier. Ghosn's lawyers called to cancel the event that was to be held at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ), but did not immediately give a reason for the abrupt change, an official at the FCCJ told Reuters.
Automotive News cited a source as saying his family and media team staged a "last-minute intervention" to get him to call off plans to make his case at the press conference, fearing he would be faced with questions he couldn't answer without tipping his legal team's strategy, or that Japanese prosecutors would take a dim view of him publicly criticizing their actions and attempt to revoke his bail. A spokesman for the Ghosn family in Tokyo did not answer his mobile phone and did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. If the conference had not been canceled, Ghosn would have spoken as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosts national leaders at the G20 leaders gathering in Osaka, including U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, who Ghosn's wife Carole have called on to raise the issue of her husband's treatment by Japan's courts. In May a Japanese court dismissed an appeal by Ghosn to ease a bail restriction that bans him from contacting his wife and rejected a subsequent request to allow him a one-off monitored meeting with Carole. His lawyers have argued that that condition violates Japan's constitution and international law on family separations. Ghosn's movements are also monitored and he is only allowed internet access from a computer at his lawyer's office that records the activity for the court. Once among the world's most feted auto executives, Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan over charges including enriching himself at a cost of $5 million to Nissan, in a scandal which has rocked the industry and exposed tensions in the automaking partnership between Nissan and Renault SA. Since his initial arrest in November last year, Ghosn has been charged four times for crimes which also include underreporting his Nissan salary and temporarily transferring personal financial losses to his employer's books during his time at the helm of Japan's No. 2 automaker. Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing saying he is the victim of a boardroom coup, accusing "backstabbing" former colleagues of conspiring to oust him from Nissan in order to derail a closer alliance between the Japanese automaker and Renault, its top shareholder.
TOKYO — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. shareholders approved on Friday the ouster of Carlos Ghosn, who was pivotal in the Japanese automaker's three-way partnership with Nissan and Renault until he was arrested on financial misconduct charges last year. The vote took place in a two-hour general meeting of shareholders at a Tokyo hotel. Nissan Motor Co. owns 34% of Mitsubishi Motors. Osamu Masuko, who was reappointed chairman, promised to strengthen governance and transparency and monitor wrongdoing. More outsiders will check executive appointments and compensation, he said. Nissan shareholders held an extraordinary shareholders' meeting in April to oust Ghosn as chairman. He resigned from French alliance partner Renault SA. The Mitsubishi shareholders also approved the appointment of Renault's chairman Jean-Dominique Senard to replace Ghosn. Renault owns 43% of Nissan. Nissan, based in the port city of Yokohama, is holding a general shareholders' meeting next week to approve other measures, including setting up committees to strengthen governance. Nissan said late Thursday two Renault executives will be on the committees. Renault earlier said it would abstain in that vote, and the greater representation promised on the committees may gain Renault's approval. Renault said in a statement that it welcomed Nissan's decision but did not say how it planned to vote. "The agreement reached on Renault's presence in Nissan's new governance confirms the spirit of dialogue and mutual respect that exists within the alliance," it said. Some analysts suggest a deepening rift between Renault and Nissan after a planned merger between Renault and Fiat Chrysler fell through earlier this month. Nissan expressed reservations about immediately joining the merger. Masuko told shareholders the auto industry faced challenges because of the costs of advancements such as emissions standards and self-driving technology. He said the Tokyo-based automaker will pursue focus over expansion, repeatedly highlighting the company motto "small but beautiful." He also stressed the importance of auto alliances. "We want to be a profitable company even if smaller in scale," he told shareholders. One Mitsubishi Motors shareholder expressed anger over the Ghosn scandal. But most of the questions were about new models and market strategy. Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, saving it from near-bankruptcy, had served as chairman at Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and was long a revered figure in the industry. He has been charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting retirement compensation and with breach of trust in having Nissan shoulder investment losses and in diverting Nissan money for personal gain. Ghosn says he is innocent. ___ Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama On Instagram https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en
Former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn has attended pre-trial talks at the Tokyo District Court to prioritize issues of contention.
Ghosn has been indicted for allegedly understating his executive compensation in Nissan's securities reports. He has also been charged with aggravated breach of trust over the suspected misappropriation of company funds.
TOKYO — Japanese automaker Nissan, reeling from the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn, reported Tuesday that annual profit nosedived to less than half of what it earned the previous year, and forecast even dimmer results going forward. Nissan Motor Co.'s profit for the fiscal year ended March totaled 319.1 billion yen ($2.9 billion), down from 746.9 billion yen the previous fiscal year. Yokohama-based Nissan said profit for the fiscal year through March 2020 will drop to 170 billion yen ($1.5 billion), as its earnings are slammed by restructuring and product development expenses combined with currency-related losses and rising material costs. "This is a very critical situation," Nissan's chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, told reporters at its headquarters in Yokohama. He said efforts were underway to reshape Nissan's business, especially in North America, where profits have dropped because of incentives and overproduction. Nissan's sales for the fiscal year that ended in March totaled 11.6 trillion yen ($105 billion), down 3% from the previous fiscal year. Vehicle sales for the fiscal year slipped 4% to 5.5 million vehicles. Saikawa promised that Nissan's business will be turned around over the next two or three years. He blamed an overly aggressive sales growth strategy spearheaded by Ghosn, though Saikawa himself has faced criticism over his leadership since he became CEO. Saikawa apologized to customers and shareholders for the shoddy results, giving a short bow rather than the usual deep bow held for nearly a minute by Japanese executives apologizing for corporate wrongdoing. Ghosn, who led Nissan and its alliance with Renault SA of France for two decades, was arrested in November on financial misconduct charges. He has been accused of under-reporting retirement compensation, having Nissan shoulder investment losses and diverting Nissan money for personal gain. He says he is innocent. He says the compensation was never paid or agreed upon, the losses were never suffered and the payments were for legitimate services. The scandal over Ghosn's arrest and dismissal added to Nissan's problems. It logged 9.2 billion ($83 million) in costs for the fiscal year through March from alleged underreporting of Ghosn's compensation. Some analysts say the brand has been tarnished. It is unclear when Ghosn's trial will start, as preparations in Japan take months. Prosecutors wanted Ghosn kept incarcerated during the preparation, but he was released on bail in March, rearrested and then released again in April. The latest release forbids Ghosn, a Brazilian-born Frenchman of Lebanese ancestry, from contact with his wife, a restriction that prosecutors have defended as necessary to prevent evidence tampering. Saikawa brushed off speculation that Renault may be pushing for a merger, saying that Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, who recently joined Nissan's board, agrees that fixing Nissan comes first. Renault owns 43% of Nissan. Nissan, which makes the Leaf electric car, March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, owns 15% of Renault. Saikawa also brushed off a reporter's question about his resignation. He said he planned to hand over the reign to another leader "when the timing is right." For now, he said, he needs to focus on a turnaround.
A lawyer for former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn says his client claims the transfer of money to an Oman car dealership was legitimate.
Ghosn was indicted on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust. Prosecutors believe he channeled Nissan funds to the dealership in Oman and part of the funds wound up in a Lebanese shell company he effectively controls, causing Nissan to lose about 5 million dollars.
NHK has learned that the Tokyo district court has changed its initial plan to hold the first hearing for former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn in September.
It is now likely that his trial will start later than that.
Ghosn has been indicted for understating his income on Nissan's securities reports. The company itself has also been indicted for making false financial disclosures.