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Nissan chairman Ghosn faces arrest over financial law violation

Carlos Ghosn, chairman of the alliance of Nissan Motor Co, Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, is set to be arrested on suspicion of violating a financial law, investigative sources said Monday.
The 64-year-old executive has been questioned by Tokyo prosecutors, the sources said, adding that he is suspected of having understated his income.
Ghosn came to Nissan in 1999 as chief operating officer to lead the Japanese carmaker's turnaround under a capital alliance with Renault.
Becoming president of Nissan in 2000, he spearheaded a recovery with plant closures and other drastic restructuring measures, shocking the Japanese business community and making himself known as a cost-cutter.
His management style stood out as he set numerical "commitment" targets and carried out aggressive reforms.
Under his tenure of nearly two decades, Nissan moved away from conventional practices in the Japanese auto industry. For instance, it negotiated aggressively with steelmakers to lower steel sheet purchase costs, triggering fierce competition among major steel companies.
The Brazilian-born Ghosn, who holds French citizenship, assumed the post of CEO at a shareholders meeting in June 2001, at which time he said he would stay at the helm until Nissan's full recovery.
He became Renault's CEO in 2005, pressing for further streamlining through joint procurement and development under the Nissan-Renault alliance.
After Mitsubishi Motors was hit by a scandal over its fuel data manipulation, Nissan announced a capital tie-up with the smaller Japanese rival in 2016, with Ghosn promising to achieve sustainable growth and saying he had enough experience to be confident that the partnership would be successful.
In the first half of 2018, the alliance formed by Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors became the world's largest auto seller, outselling major rival Volkswagen in a neck-to-neck race.
The alliance sold 5.54 million vehicles worldwide in the first six months, up 5 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the three companies.
The figure outstripped the 5.52 million vehicles sold in the same term by the Volkswagen group, which grabbed the top spot in global sales for the second straight year in 2017. The group includes the Audi and Porsche brands.


© KYODO
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