Ghosn is Gone – Undeservedly

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Nissan/Renault honcho Carlos Ghosn (pronounced “gon”) is gone. He has agreed to resign as chairman and CEO of the Japanese-French car conglomerate – apparently from his room at the Hotel Graybar in Japan, where he has been in residence since his arrest back in November on charges of extra-curricular pocketing of funds he may not have been entitled to.

But this is the guy who saved Nissan – which came even closer to death than GM did back in ’08 – and turned the company into a massively successful operation.

Arguably, he earned whatever he was paid – and then some.

Unlike, say, GM’s Mary Barra – who receives something on the order of $20 million annually as GM shrinks in the United States and grows in China, the latter funded on the American taxpayer’s dime. (Yes, they “paid back” the loan; but the money was loaned for the purposes of rebuilding GM in America, not for building GM in China at the expense of America.)

It’s interesting to observe – and consider – how success is punished in the car business these days, while failure is richly rewarded.

Tesla, for instance – vs.VW.

Takata – vs. Roxor/Mahindra.

Ghosn may well be a bastard and a greedhead (disclosure, I don’t personally like the guy) but no matter what you think of him, he didn’t run the shop into the ground.

Who, exactly, has been harmed here?

Meanwhile, how about the tens of thousands of now-jobless GM workers? No Hotel Graybar for la femme (sort of) Barra. Not even a pay cut.

Elon Musk performs what is very arguably criminal fraud – he has taken something like $900 million in deposits for cars he hasn’t delivered, for years – and nothing happens. No frog marching in leg irons, no Hut! Hut! Hutting!

But VW executives are treated as if they actually were “pedos.”

It is very interesting.

Clearly, Uncle – the government – is mainly affronted by any challenge to its authority (VW “cheating” on government tests) than it is to actual harm done to the populace it lords over.

The same is true of Ghosn and the Japanese Uncle. That Uncle is aroused to great and vengeful anger because Ghosn tried to hide money (and other valuables in kind). Which the company was – apparently – trying to give him as thanks for services rendered.

He didn’t mismanage the company or filch the pockets of the taxpayers, either here or in Japan (as both GM and Tesla continue to do).

I don’t know how you feel about it, but Ghosn didn’t do anything to harm me – or any other innocent victim – as far as the reporting suggests, at least. And it is inarguably he did a lot of good for the company, which means for the many thousands (tens of thousands) of people who work for it, directly and indirectly. Also for Nissan’s customers and shareholders, who got cars they wanted and (in the case of shareholders) saw their positions improve on account of those sales.

But he is nonetheless in a cell.

Elon and Mary, meanwhile..

. . .

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13 COMMENTS

  1. This view depends on how much you know about Nissan and Renault.
    While the circumstances of Ghosn’s departure may be related to his actions, he didn’t really do anything to make Nissan better from a customer perspective. You have to look at the stats on Nissan repairs before you will see that his arrival was months before an increase in issues with certain problematic Nissan components, and changes to existing models which were not received well by Nissan customers.
    During his tenure the percentage of CVT failures went over the 20% mark. And, those in engineering circles had been discussing the design of the updated CVT because of the Jatco units from 2002 to 2006 which were essentially under-spec’d for the type of use.
    When a Renault part hit a Nissan model, it was usually at a higher-than-average failure rate for any similar car with a similar part. (in fact, that was the case for all but 2 parts)
    The 4-wheel system used by the sedans and SUV’s was never able to go 100,000 miles in computer simluations, but when Ghosn came in, none of that was worked out or changed.
    Under Ghosn the engineering process and the quality was not improved, and it was painfully obvious to many Nissan owners in 2008 that it needed to be improved.
    So, he was just another suit that could not see quality problems from his altitude and did not own a Nissan or a Renault.
    And anyone that would lead a company which has the ‘quality’ history of Renault should be considered suspect.

    • Agree. Ghosn leaving should help nissan reliability. They are the one japanese company with FCA level reliability. They move cars based on being the being the lowest priced and easiest financed. I love the 370z after driving my brothers. They have some great motors and products but they’ve been at a stand still in development.

    • Farmer Chet-
      Great inside information. Got my wife a new 2012 Altima SR V-6 which was a pretty good car but of course the weak point was the CVT transmission. Nissan has some attractive products with nice price points at discount but I won’t touch them any more because to the CVT (and Nissan’s horrible Nav). Funny, back in the day bought my wife a new 2005 Sentra 2.5 SE-R with the regular 5 speed auto, and that car was dynamite. It had the Rockford Fosgate sound system with the woofer in the trunk, the best I’ve ever heard. The only problem was the car was too fast for the suspension, which was firm but would come unglued if you weren’t careful. Almost flipped it a couple of times. 🙂

  2. In each instance those being punished did something that a government and those who influence it, tell it what to do, or perhaps outright own it did not want. Ghosn was apparently looking to merge Renault and Nissan formally and the people in high places in Nissan and Japanese government did not want that. So they took him out. Remember all enforcement is selective and if there isn’t something to select something will be blown up out of proportion to select. Every company has all sorts of things they can fire people over that everyone ignores. But when it comes time to get rid of someone…..

    Anyway the powers that be want to move all industry to China. China has likely already equaled 200+ years of US CO2 if they haven’t it won’t be much longer. And that’s with the approval of Obama and those who control him. And of course the powers that be want easily controlled electric and robot cars too.

    Yesterday I go to lunch and find my car had an unmasked paint job of ice. I scraped the windows and went to get something to eat. What would a robot car do? It would refuse to move. All of the sensors or at least critical ones would have been non-functional while covered in ice. But these delicate things can’t be hit with scraper and done. And will the moron majority even know what to do to make the car work? Then how is it going to well go anywhere on slush and ice without ending up in a ditch? Not sure the ownership class, the ruling class wants to take the profit hit for a lot of snow days.

  3. Oh, I don’t know. He basically turned Nissans into chintzy crap with his “cost cutting uber alles”.
    Children’s toys have better structural integrity than Nissans.

    • Hi Cambo,

      Well, maybe. But at least they sell. And Nissan didn’t filch our pockets, either. I am at odds with Nissan right now (over the same reasons I’m at odds with some other car companies) but I can’t fault Ghosn because the bottom line is the cars sell and that’s really the only bottom line when it comes to business.

      • Yeah, agreed.

        I suspect he pissed off Macron about Renault. The same psychopathic parasite that just created an EU Army to put down his Yellow Vest slave rebellion.

  4. If he had anything to do with removing the Xterra from production and the pussification of the Pathfinder and Armada then lock this mongoloid up forever!

  5. Theorist say this is a Japanese government hit job done to separate Nissan from Renault which is owned by France. The theory sounds accurate as Ghosn was about to replace the Nissan head right before his arrest. Now Mitsubishi has helped gather evidence for charges against Ghosn as well.

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