After Carlos Ghosn’s swift ouster from Nissan Motor Company last week on allegations of financial mismanagement, it was Mitsubishi Motors’ turn to remove the embattled European executive from its ranks. According to a report from Reuters, the decision was made after a board meeting. Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko will assume the role of temporary chairman.
Just two years ago, Ghosn was credited for steadying Mitsubishi, which was then rocked by a fuel-efficiency scandal. After that incident, Mitsubishi was brought into the Renault-Nissan Alliance, thus creating the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
According to news reports, it was this original Renault-Nissan partnership that led to tension between Nissan and Ghosn. The latter was reportedly planning to bring the two companies even closer—possibly even through a merger.
On November 19, 2018, Ghosn was arrested at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, after months of investigation yielded alleged under-reporting of his salary and misuse of company funds. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Ghosn denied the allegations against him.
This development has rocked not just the automotive industry, but the corporate world as well. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance competes neck and neck with Toyota and Volkswagen as the biggest carmaker in the world.
As of now, Ghosn is still the chairman and CEO of Renault. If the automotive business model of shared resources that he built unravels, it could put into question similar arrangements among other manufacturers. The whole world is watching what will happen next.