No Proof Of Fraud By Carlos Ghosn In France: Government

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at 2016 New York Auto Show roundable discussion

The French economy minister and Japan's trade minister on Tuesday expressed their support for the Renault-Nissan auto alliance, which has been hit by the arrest earlier this week of top executive Carlos Ghosn. The French state has a 15 percent stake in Renault and the country's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has stated that Ghosn is "no longer in a position" to lead the company.

The Renault board is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss temporarily replacing Mr Ghosn as chief executive.

But experts said it is unlikely he will be able to stay on there or at Renault, where he is also chief executive.

For years, France's Renault and Japan's Nissan struggled to make money in the global auto business. The current head of Renault Sport Racing, Jerome Stoll, also reports directly to Ghosn in the company's hierarchy.

Ghosn officially still leads the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance as CEO and chairman.

Nissan and Mitsubishi are both preparing to remove him from his posts.

Nissan's shares fell 5% in Tokyo trading on Tuesday.

"It's extremely regrettable", Mr Suga said of the arrest. Nissan has a 34% controlling stake in the smaller Japanese carmaker.

Nissan said its internal investigation also found "numerous other significant acts of misconduct ... such as personal use of company assets".

The announcement sent shockwaves through the automotive industry where Mr Ghosn, 64, is seen as a titan, responsible for a dramatic turnaround at Nissan in the early 2000s.

Mr Saikawa, in a 90-minute news conference late on Monday, said the company was overdue for some change and that power had been too heavily concentrated in one person.

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"I have to say that this is a dark side of the Ghosn era which lasted for a long time", he said, adding he was still debating whether Mr Ghosn was "a charismatic figure or a tyrant".

A second Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, was also suspected of collaborating with him.

In 2010, Japan began requiring listed firms to disclose how much they were paying board members if their remuneration exceeded 100 million yen.

The manager, who declined to be identified as he was not permitted to speak to the media, said he was also anxious Ghosn's departure could hit sales as fans of the charismatic leader abandon the company and corporate customers bound by compliance rules put orders on hold due to the scandal.

BBC Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes said the charges against Mr Ghosn had come to light because of a new law that came into effect in Japan in June, aimed at improving corporate governance and uncovering corporate misdeeds. They can hold a suspect for up to 20 more days per charge if they decide they need more time.

No further details of his alleged misconduct have been given. Nissan doesn't break out individual board members' compensation in its annual report.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK also reported Nissan paid billions of yen to buy and renovate homes for Ghosn in Rio de Janeiro, Beirut, Paris and Amsterdam, citing unidentified sources.

There was no word from Ghosn himself.

How will this affect the Alliance?


While there could be some scrutiny of the relationships between the companies, they're so intertwined now that cutting them apart would be hard, said Kelley Blue Book analyst Michelle Krebs.


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