Published on March 9, 2019 | by Maarten Vinkhuyzen
9. March 2019 by Maarten Vinkhuyzen
On March 9, 1954, Carlos Ghosn was born in Brazil. 65 years later, the best thing we can say about this day is that he does not spend the day in prison.
This was going to be a day to celebrate the man who built the world's largest car conglomerate, by first saving Renault and when Nissan from the financial abyss joined an alliance that proved to be more durable than the mergers that were popular in automotive industry at the turn of the century.
Instead, he is without a job, humiliated, free from security (which can be better described as light house arrest), and is waiting to be tried for actions that would not be crimes (in most misdemeanors) in many other countries, and is actually actions that he probably did not commit.
If there is any justice in the Japanese courts for him, he will be acquitted this summer and be a free man again. Besides some lawsuits to recover over $ 100 million in retirement and retirement pay that this Japanese prosecutor costs him, I hope he is willing to prove his worth to the automotive industry once.
While preparing the story of the Osborne effect on the automotive industry, two men were hoping to move the industry in the right direction: Elon Musk scares them to Do the right thing from the outside, and Carlos Ghosn shows that it was possible and profitable from the inside. The premise was that Carlos Ghosn would use the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to lighten the road.
Unless he is reinstated as the Alliance's CEO – the best but probably the most unrealistic result – there are several other car companies in dire need of a captain who can steer them through the transition to 100% fully electric cars.
The first to think is Toyota and Honda, but these are Japanese. It can be a matter of trust against the Japanese legal system. Another problem case is the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It has had a new CEO for a few months, and it's too early to say he needs to be replaced or he can save the company.
Because Ford and BMW are the most likely candidates who need new leadership. If they continue in the way they are facing electrification right now, they will not exist in a decade. Both have a single major shareholder who can prevent the implementation of the necessary changes, but that is what Carlos Ghosn is used to with the French State, which is of great importance to Renault and the Alliance.
But these are due to a later date. For today, the most important thing Carlos Ghosn has this day with his family and friends.
And I will say, "Mr. Ghosn, what you have achieved is amazing. Thank you."