Ghosn to steer Nissan while CEO at Renault

7th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

TOKYO, March 7 (AFP) - Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's breakthrough foreign manager, will still make the major decisions at the Japanese car maker even when he heads France's Renault, Nissan's incoming day-to-day chief said Monday.

TOKYO, March 7 (AFP) - Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's breakthrough foreign manager, will still make the major decisions at the Japanese car maker even when he heads France's Renault, Nissan's incoming day-to-day chief said Monday.

"Mr Ghosn is CEO (chief executive officer), he will take all the decisions. No big change will occur," said Toshiyuki Shiga, who starts as Nissan Motor's chief operating officer on April 1.

"I have the responsibility to monitor how the progress is going," he told reporters.

Ghosn, a Brazilian-born Frenchman, was brought in by Renault in 1999 to overhaul a Nissan in disarray.

He famously turned around Japan's second biggest car maker by breaking Japanese taboos to close factories and lay off workers.

Renault owns a 44.4 percent stake in Nissan, which in turn holds 15 percent in Renault.

"Both companies, I think, are expected to generate more dynamic synergies under one CEO. Actually this is much easier," Shiga said of Ghosn's new role at Renault.

Ghosn will become president and chief executive at Renault but also retains his title of chief executive at Nissan.

Ghosn has indicated he will spend 40 percent of his time in France, 40 percent in Japan, with 20 percent in the United States and elsewhere in the world with his new job.

Koji Endo, an auto sector analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, agreed that Ghosn would still be in charge.

"The company is still one man's company, or Carlos Ghosn's company," Endo said.

"I think it is totally obvious that this Japanese COO doesn't really have any final or ultimate power," he said.

Shiga said he was committed to the so-called "Nissan One Objective," which some analysts doubt can be achieved.

The plan calls for the company to sell 3.6 million units around the world in the year ending September, or one million vehicles more than the 2001-2002 level.

"As head of the general overseas markets at the moment, I have very strong confidence to achieve the Nissan One Objective," Shiga said.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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