Japan-France tussle behind Ghosn’s escape: Renault-Nissan Mitsubishi alliance goes bankrupt

On the last day of 2019, Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s former chairman, announced that he had fled the rigged Japanese justice system and arrived in Lebanon. As legendary as his plan to escape Japan, Mr. Ghosn’s acquisition in The Japanese car industry has been a boon. It also cast a political overtone on his arrest, his trial, and his escape.

Mr. Ghosn was chairman and chief executive of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, the world’s largest auto alliance, and is a big figure in the automotive industry and the business world as a whole.

The story of all this began in 1999, when Ghosn arrived in Japan under Renault’s mandate to rebuild Nissan. Nissan has lost money for seven years in a row, and under Mr Ghosn’s iron grip, nissan has turned a profit quickly. Ghosn has thus gained the status of a superstar, with pictures of him on both Japan’s box and Lebanese stamps.

But after the recovery, Nissan began to dispute the “unequal” deal it signed with Renault, and the two sides are increasingly at stake. Deep involved in The Ghosn, fate trajectory also began to rewrite.

On November 19, 2018, Mr. Ghosn was arrested by Japanese prosecutors at Tokyo airport and faces four charges of concealing income and embezzlement. He was subsequently detained for a long time and released on bail until the escape. Reuters reported that Lebanon had received an interpolated arrest warrant for Ghosn.

How has Mr. Ghosn gone from saving Nissan’s hero to being pursued by the Japanese government over the past 20 years?

Japan-France tussle behind Ghosn's escape: Renault-Nissan Mitsubishi alliance goes bankrupt

Hollywood movie escape?

Under the watchful eye of Japanese prosecutors around the clock, it remains a mystery how Mr. Ghosn escaped from Lebanon, and details of various versions are being widely circulated.

In the Lebanese media, Ghosn’s escape seemed to be a hollywood movie in real life. At his tokyo-monitored home, Ghosn invited the band to perform and was approved by Japanese prosecutors, and Mr. Ghosn, who is 1.7 metres tall, was then placed in an oversized instrument box, flown to Istanbul, Turkey, with the help of privately hired security personnel, and then boarded another private jet to Lebanon.

In somemedia reports, such as the Guardian, Mr Ghosn’s escape plan involved former special forces. Mr. Ghosn’s wife, Carol, personally planned the escape, which lasted three months, taking Mr. Ghosn from Japan to Istanbul on a private jet and then to Beirut, the Lebanese capital, unaware that Mr. Ghosn was on board.

But Carroll denied Ghosn’s escape, saying it was purely a novel, and declined to give further details about Ghosn’s escape.

In an interview with Japan’s Kyodo news agency, Mr. Ghosn’s friend, Ajami, said Mr. Ghosn was hidden in a instrument case and helped to get on the plane and leave Japan.

There are also doubts about how Ghosn escaped the management of the exit, with some saying it was hidden in a instrument box. Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that hand luggage brought into the plane is usually subject to X-rays and other checks, and that diplomats with the right to be exempted are diplomats based on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. However, a Japanese airport source pointed out: “In places where there are no international scheduled flights, immigration and customs checks may not be stringent.” “

Regarding the way to escape airport baggage checks, Ajami speculated that Ghosn’s aides may have urged staff to say they were “in a hurry” or were given special care in connection with musical instruments, “perhaps not adequately examined.”

Another analysis said that Ghosn may have used a fake passport, because Ghosn’s lawyer told Japanese broadcaster NHK that he still owns three passports in France, Brazil and Lebanon. In addition, the Japan Immigration Authority has no record of Ghosn leaving the country.

But a Lebanese official told Reuters that Mr. Ghosn entered the country using a French passport with his name on it.

NHK reported on January 2nd that Mr Ghosn had escaped with a spare second French passport.

Japanese authorities have launched a full investigation into Mr. Ghosn’s escape and searched Mr. Ghosn’s tokyo home on January 2, but to no avail. Mr Ghosn’s bail of 1.5 billion yen has been confiscated by a Tokyo court.

The Lebanese side issued a statement on 31 December 2019 confirming that Ghosn’s entry date was 30 December. At the same time, the statement said Ghosn’s entry was legal, did not disclose The specific escape process, and said the escape was Agon’s personal behavior.

Only the Turkish investigation progressed slightly, with Turkish television station NTV reporting on January 2 that Ghosn had been in Istanbul for an hour and a half before moving to Paris, and that the Turkish Interior Ministry had detained seven people, including four pilots.

Lebanon and Japan do not have an extradition treaty. If Japan requests extradition to Lebanon, it is uncertain whether Lebanon will cooperate.

Mr. Ghosn, who returned to Lebanon, is clearly freer than when he was in Japan, and his lawyer in Lebanon has revealed that Mr. Ghosn will hold a press conference on January 8.

Reuters reported that Mr. Ghosn met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun shortly after arriving in Beirut on December 30 last year and received a warm welcome. But a spokesman for Aoun’s office denied such a meeting.

The Financial Times reports that Hassan Diab, Lebanon’s new prime minister, is trying to form a cabinet to deal with the country’s worst financial and economic crisis in decades. Some in Beirut have speculated that Mr. Ghosn could be called up because he has been widely praised for his strong business acumen.

Who was involved in Ghosn’s escape?

The latest news on how Ghosn escaped was NHK, and surveillance video showed Him leaving his Tokyo home alone before fleeing lebanon and never returning it.

Ghosn himself issued a statement late on 2 January saying that his escape plan had been arranged by one of his own and that his wife and other family members were not involved.

According to the BBC, Ghosn’s lawyer said ghosn also had a conversation with Carroll for more than an hour on December 24, 2019. Previously, Ghosn was barred from meeting or communicating under strict bail conditions.

Carroll also campaigned for Ghosn after his arrest. Public reports say Carroll is Ghosn’s second wife and the couple married in 2016. Carol was born in Lebanon, has U.S. citizenship, and has founded a personal luxury brand in the United States.

In order to rescue Gorn, Carroll has repeatedly turned to French President Emmanuel Macron, the Guardian and CNN reported. In an ineffective interview with the BBC, Mr Carroll even shouted at US President Donald Trump to press Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 summit to lift Mr Ghosn’s jailing.

Of course, Carroll has also been actively lobbying the Lebanese government, which has negotiated with the Japanese government twice for Ghosn’s release from prison.

The Financial Times reported that the Lebanese government may have helped Mr Ghosn escape.

Shortly after Ghosn’s arrest, the Lebanese Ministry of Justice requested that Ghosn be extradited to the country to stand trial, the report said. At that time, Tokyo did not respond to this request. On 20 December 2019, Japanese Foreign Minister Keisuke Suzuki visited Beirut, and Lebanese President Aoun reiterated his request.

Gadi Kori, director of political affairs at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied that the Lebanese Government was involved in Mr. Gohn’s escape. Another Beirut official said the latest request for extradition was a coincidence that Mr. Ghosn had fled.

The last straw for Mr. Ghosn to choose to leave by the end of 2019 was the Japanese prosecution’s refusal to allow Mr. Ghosn to meet with his wife and delay his trial.

Sources close to Mr. Ghosn said mr. Ghosn had learned at a recent court hearing that one of his two trials in Japan would be postponed from September 2020 to April 2021.

“They said they needed a full year to prepare … and they were going to have to do it,” the source said. He was frustrated that he could not see his wife or speak to him. It is a great humiliation and a moral torture. “

For its part, the French government did not know that Mr. Ghosn had fled lebanon, the Guardian reported, and Junior Economy Minister Agniesz Pannier-Runacher said he was surprised to see Mr. Ghosn’s escape in the media.

However, France has publicly stated that it will not extradite Mr Ghosn to Japan. “If Mr. Ghosn arrives in France, we will not extradite Mr. Ghosn because France will never extradite his nationals,” the junior economy minister told France’s BFM news channel. “

Revival

According to the New York Times, Ghosn was born in Brazil and immigrated to Lebanon at the age of six before studying engineering at the elite French university of Cole Polytechnique, where he joined michelin, a tire manufacturer, where he worked for 18 years. In 1990, Ghosn was appointed CEO of Michelin North America, reviving the struggling Michelin North American business. In 1996, Ghosn joined Renault as Executive Vice President, overseeing manufacturing, procurement and research and development, and assuming the responsibility of revitalizing Renault.

Mr Ghosn, who excels at cutting costs to improve margins, has earned the nickname “Le Cost Killer”.

In 1999, the Nissan-Renault alliance was formed, and Renault, Nissan’s largest shareholder (36.8 percent), sent Ghosn to Japan to take on the task of rebuilding The Company. Nissan has lost money for seven years in a row, with a market share of just 4.9 per cent and a debt of Y2.1 trillion.

In October 1999, according to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, Mr. Ghosn unveiled a later big-name Nissan revival plan: cut costs by 1 trillion yen in three years, launch 22 new products, turn Nissan into a profit in 2001, cut 14 percent of its workforce by about 21,000 people, sell real estate and other unrelated businesses, and so on.

The recovery was finally completed a year ahead of schedule, and Nissan managed to turn a profit of 331.1 billion yen in the fiscal year ending In March 2001. Ghosn has also gained notoriety in Japan and around the world, and the Nissan-Renault alliance is becoming increasingly strong.

In 2001, Mr. Ghosn was appointed chief executive of Nissan, and the following year, Mr. Ghosn led Nissan’s partnership with China’s Dongfeng Motor to bring Nissan to China.

The New York Times reported that in 2003, Mr. Ghosn was named one of fortune-most influential figures in the business world. The following year, Emperor Akihito paid tribute to Ghosn at a garden party at the Akasaka Palace, and Ghosn became the first foreign business leader to receive the Emperor’s Blue Medal.

In 2005, Mr Ghosn became chief executive of the Nissan-Renault alliance, according to The Nissan. In October 2016, under Mr. Ghosn’s leadership, Nissan motored a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors for 237.35 billion yen.

In the same year, the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance was established, creating the fourth-largest automotive group of the year, and Ghosn became chairman of the alliance. In 2017, the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance overtook Toyota Motor And Volkswagen to become the world’s largest auto group with sales of 10.683 million vehicles.

Ghosn in the Vortex

It’s easy to suffer, it’s rich and rich. Nissan, after the break, began to express its displeasure with the unequal relationship with Renault.

Renault currently owns 43.4 per cent of Nissan and has voting rights, while Nissan owns only 15 per cent of Renault and has no voting rights. In addition, Nissan has bigger sales and profits than Renault, so Nissan executives believe it is giving the French government a white profit.

For these reasons, Nissan executives have been hoping to correct the unequal relationship between The Company and Renault and increase control of Renault’s stake. The French government, which owns 15 per cent of Renault, is Renault’s largest shareholder, and the French government disagrees with Nissan’s increase in its stake in Renault.

Kyodo news agency reported that in order to ensure Nissan’s right to operate independently, Nissan, Renault, the French government in 2015 reached an agreement, agreed that the French side will not improperly interfere in Nissan’s operations. Nissan has the right to increase its stake in Renault if It is not involved.

In early 2018, Mr Ghosn pushed for a merger of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, driven by the French government, the Financial Times reported. According to the Japanese media, the French government to Japan’s TiRenault-Nissan merger, intended to strengthen Renault to make it the engine of the French economy, ease popular discontent with Macron’s government, ease the pressure on the ruling government.

Mr. Ghosn, who is pushing ahead with the merger plan, became a flashpoint in the vortex.

On November 19, 2018, Ghosn was arrested by Japanese prosecutors at Tokyo airport.

According to Japanese prosecutors, Mr. Ghosn’s actual income in the five years from 2010 to 2014 was 9,998 million yen (about 645 million yuan), but claimed only 4,987 million yen (about 322 million yuan). Prosecutors say About 5 billion yen of Ghosn’s income is undisclosed and untaxed.

On the night of Mr. Ghosn’s arrest, Nissan Motor CEO Yukio Nishikawa held a press conference to say that an investigation into Mr. Goen had been launched a few months earlier on the behest of anonymous sources, and that Mr. Ghosn had been charged with concealing income, dictatorship, and embezzlement.

Mr. Ghosn’s lawyer said at the time that Nissan and senior Japanese officials were concerned that Nissan would lose control of the Renault merger, and that the two had colluded to drive Mr. Ghosn’s arrest.

After Ghosn’s arrest, his duties at Nissan and Mitsubishi were quickly removed.

In the early days of Ghosn’s arrest, the French government and Reynolds had been behind Himon’s back, CNN reported. On January 24, 2019, Ghosn resigned as Chairman and Ceo of Renault.

On January 28, 2019, according to The Nikkei News, Macron expressed concern about Ghosn’s condition in prison in a phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Since then, Ghosn has been indicted four times by Japanese prosecutors, and has been released on multiple bails and re-arrested. After posting bail of 1.5 billion yen in April 2019, it remained under intense surveillance by Japan’s judiciary until the end of December.

Tensions between the coalition and heavy losses on its members

After Mr Ghosn’s arrest, the Financial Times said the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance was quietly breaking down and several of Nissan and Renault’s joint business units were slowly disbanding.

Some of the departments within the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance that oversee joint functions have been abolished, while others have not received new jobs for several months, the report said. “People have nothing to do, ” says one insider. “

The situation also said tensions between Renault and Nissan executives were growing following Mr. Ghosn’s arrest. Tensions have further affected the functioning of the function, with some alliance plans suspended and others put on hold.

Previously, Ghosn had kept Nissan Renault close together. Jean-Dominique Senard, Renault’s new chairman, no longer wants to work with Nissan, let alone a merger.

In the short term, however, the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi will not be dissolved, and the Asahi Shimbun said the French president called for the alliance to be maintained when Macron and Shinzo Abe met in Buenos Aires. But the Asahi Shimbun says the future of the alliance will not be too bright with the participation of the two governments.

The instability of alliance relations is also reflected in the financial performance of its members. Nissan Motor Co. reported a 10-year operating profit low in fiscal 2018. Nissan cut its full-year operating profit forecast for fiscal 2019 by 35 percent, the worst full-year result in 11 years, according to the company’s second-quarter results. It also cut its global sales forecast for the 2019 fiscal year to 5.2 million vehicles, its worst annual sales in six years.

The Financial Times reports that some analysts expect Nissan to have no real cash flow until March 2022 and that its balance sheet will gradually expand.

The report mentions that the market is no short of sound about the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, whose shares have fallen by about a quarter in the past year. In addition, three companies have also issued a profit warning.

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