Mitsubishi is believed to become a part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance by the end of the year, as Nissan is expected to acquire a major stake in the smaller Japanese manufacturer. The deal is reported to be worth $2.2 billion and is currently pending legal and government approval.
According to new reports, when Mitsubishi joins the alliance, Carlos Ghosn will be appointed as a chairman of the company. Nikkei, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Automotive News all reported Ghosn will take the chairman’s role at Mitsubishi Motors, but both the manufacturer and Renault-Nissan Alliance are still denying comments. A spokesman for the alliance briefly called the reports “speculation.”
If Ghosn takes control over the manufacturer, he would become the first executive in the automotive industry to head three different car companies at the same time, as he is currently the CEO of both Renault and Nissan.
Most analysists believe Ghosn is the right man to manage Mitsubishi’s renascence, as he can simply copy the strategy he introduced in Nissan, which includes combining platforms, cutting costs, and closing plants.
“In order to implement such massive restructuring, you need someone as powerful as Ghosn to get things going,” Koji Endo, an auto analyst from SBI Securities based in Tokyo, comments.
Of course, every medal has two sides and not everyone is in favor of Ghosn leading a third automaker. “I think he has enough work to do at both Renault and Nissan,” said Hans-Peter Wodniok, an analyst from AlphaValue. “He should also spend all his time in these two companies rather than taking on another job in Japan.”
Back in April this year, Mitsubishi admitted to falsifying fuel economy data, which resulted in instantaneous drop in the company’s shares. Shortly after, an investigation was started, which discovered the automaker used improper testing methods since 1991.
The company’s president Tetsuro Aikawa resigned after the fuel economy scandal and his successor is expected to be announced after a shareholder meeting in December, Nikkei reports.