INVESTIGATION: The former CEO of Nissan, dismissed after his arrest in mid-November, must appear in court Tuesday …
The Renault-Nissan car alliance is “absolutely not in danger,” says the boss of the Japanese manufacturer during an interview Monday with AFP. Relations between the two groups have been severely tested since the shocking arrest of its builder Carlos Ghosn in mid-November in Japan.
Hiroto Saikawa, however, did not want to comment on the fate of his former mentor, still detained in Tokyo for alleged financial malpractice and will appear for the first time Tuesday in court . “The Japanese court system is running, so I have nothing to say. I just want to focus on stabilizing the company and moving it forward step by step, “said Hiroto Saikawa, during his first interview with a foreign media since the case broke out.
Almost daily contacts
The 65-year-old leader, who was a pre-Franco-Brazilian-Brazilian close-guard, was surprised by the violence of his remarks on the evening of the arrest of “suspect” Ghosn on November 19 in Tokyo, sacked in the stride of chairing Nissan’s board of directors . Hiroto Saikawa says he is “almost in daily contact” with Renault, despite the tensions and frustrations that have come to light at Nissan. The powerful car group would be tired of being under the thumb of a French manufacturer become smaller than him.
Disharmony has seemed to grow in recent weeks between the two directions. The diamond brand, invoking the presumption of innocence, has so far chosen to keep Carlos Ghosn in his position as CEO, while entrusting the interim leadership to the number two group, Thierry Bolloré . Renault executives are constantly demanding the organization of a general meeting of Nissan shareholders, to no avail.
” Nothing has changed “
Far from these bickers, “the value of the alliance itself comes from the day-to-day work, based on respect for the autonomy of each group,” says Hiroto Saikawa who spoke on the sidelines of a event of the employers’ federation Keidanren. “And this work, this energy, this direction is in no way affected (…), even in the current situation”.
“In this sense, whether at Renault, Nissan or Mitsubishi Motors”, which, by joining the alliance in 2016, allowed it to become the world’s leading manufacturers, “nothing has changed and I do not think not that (the alliance) is in danger, “he says. “Nobody wants to stop or slow things down, we have to accelerate them.”