From April, Mr Ghosn will be chairman of the three Alliance companies – Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi – and CEO of the Renault Group.
“As Nissan’s Chairman, I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance,” Mr Ghosn said. “This planned change will also allow me to devote more time and energy to managing the strategic and operational evolution and expansion of the Alliance and ensuing that all its members benefit from the competitive advantages that its scale will deliver.”
Nicknamed ‘Le Cost Killer’ at Renault, Ghosn’s broad knowledge across finances, manufacturing and sales and marketing is credited with bringing Nissan back from the brink of insolvency. After arriving 16 years ago to form the Nissan-Renault Alliance he immediately jettisoned some long-held Japanese business customs and presided over massive structural change and a swag of new, more attractive models.
While Nissan is the strongest of the three Alliance companies, the bigger picture is the combined might of the two Japanese brands and Renault equates to annual sales to rival Toyota and the Volkswagen Group.
“Even if the alliance as a whole produces 10 million cars, if three million of those cars are not profitable it will be difficult for the alliance to continue,” revealed Japanese industry analyst Takeshi Miyao. “Ghosn is likely to focus on strengthening and raising profitability at all the alliance members so that they are not overly dependent on Nissan”.