Currently reading: Ghosn: charges a 'plot' by Nissan execs to halt Renault merger
Former Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi boss denies financial misconduct charges - and claims they stem from an agenda against him

Former Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi boss Carlos Ghosn says that charges of financial misconduct brought against him are the result of a “plot” by Nissan executives to stop him further integrating the three alliance partners.

Ghosn was arrested in Japan last November on a string of financial misconduct charges relating to his former role as Nissan chairman, including claims he under-reported his salary and transferred personal financial losses from foreign exchange contracts to Nissan. He has since been dismissed as chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi, and recently stood down from his chairman and CEO roles at Renault.

The 64-year-old remains in detention in Japan after judges decided he could be a flight risk, but was allowed to speak to Japanese media firm Nikkei for 20 minutes. In the interview, he said he has “no doubt” the charges against him – which Nissan says result from a whistleblower operation – were due to “plot and treason” by Nissan executives opposed to plans he was developing to further integrate Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Ghosn said that "there was a plan" to integrate the three alliance partners more closely, creating “autonomy under one holding company,” which he discussed with Nissan president Hiroto Saikawa last September. Ghosn added that he had wanted to involve Mutsubishi CEO Osamu Masko in the talks, but Saikawa demanded a one-on-one meeting.

Responding to accusations that he effectively ran Nissan as a ‘dictatorship’ during his 19 years as chairman, Ghosn told Nikkei: “People translated strong leadership to dictator, to distort reality.”

Ghosn responded to some of the specific charges laid against him. He said that Nissan’s legal department had signed off on the purchase of luxury properties for him in Brazil and Lebanon – which Nissan claims were paid for improperly. 

Japanese prosecutors are also investigating Ghosn for using Nissan funds to make payments to Saudi businessman Khaled Juffali in return for a letter of credit to help with his personal investment losses. Ghosn said the Nissan executive in charge of the Middle East region has signed off on the payments, which he said came from a “CEO reserve” pot of money he was free to decide how to spend.

Ghosn also denied that he was a flight risk if released on bail, saying: “I won’t flee, I will defend.”

Read more

Renault names new CEO and chairman after Ghosn stands down

Nissan to oust boss Carlos Ghosn on misconduct charges

Opinion: taking stock of Nissan's claims against Ghosn

Nissan and Renault could merge to form one company (from March 2018)

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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jason_recliner 31 January 2019

I Didn't Do It!

I was set up! It's a conspiracy!

Said no criminal ever!

FMS 30 January 2019


There's a news story here, just waiting for you to make some uninformed, irrelevant comments about...get out of your decrepit sofa and do some WORK...lmao. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

FM8 30 January 2019

FMS wrote:

FMS wrote:

There's a news story here, just waiting for you to make some uninformed, irrelevant comments about...get out of your decrepit sofa and do some WORK...lmao. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

You're talking to yourself now!