As the dust settles on Nissan’s announcement that it will purchase a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors, restoring the reputation of the three-diamond brand will be “the biggest challenge” going forward, according to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
“The biggest challenge is to support Mitsubishi changing itself and growing and being profitable and restoring its reputation,” Ghosn said during a press conference last week.
The acquisition of 34 percent of Mitsubishi Motors stock for US$2.2 billion (which will give Nissan a controlling share and a say in the company’s future direction) has yet to be finalised, with the due diligence process still underway.
However, the news of Nissan’s partial takeover of its rival automaker has already had a positive effect on Mitsubishi Motors’ share price, with stock rising 16 percent last week immediately following Nissan’s takeover announcement.
Nissan shares have also benefited, rising 4.1 percent the day after the announcement.
But while restoring confidence in Mitsubishi Motors will perhaps be the greatest task for Nissan, Ghosn was quick to water down rumours that the takeover would see sweeping changes to MMC’s executive structure.
Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuo will be retained in the top slot, and Ghosn said Nissan won’t “impose anybody” on Mitsubishi.