Ghosn’s abrupt fall leaves leadership void in auto industry

Carlos Ghosn’s abrupt fall as head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance leaves a leadership void within the auto industry of which’s still reeling through the unexpected death of Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The sector lost its two most charismatic as well as also effective leaders within the space of a few months, industry analysts say.

“Mr. Ghosn will be a giant not only within the automotive industry, yet on the global business stage as well,” said Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs. “He was always at Davos as well as also he was kind of a sage when This specific came to bigger economic as well as also business issues. He was provocative, outspoken.”

Ghosn’s arrest by Japanese police in Tokyo on Monday shocked the auto world. He’s been accused of underreporting his income to Japanese regulators as well as also misusing company funds, Nissan as well as also Mitsubishi both said.

Nissan executives said Monday of which they will seek Ghosn’s removal through his roles as chairman of Nissan as well as also as chairman as well as also CEO of the alliance. Mitsubishi said This specific plans to also remove him through its board.

The allegations of misconduct could bring Ghosn’s career to an abrupt end, closing a chapter in an industry he played such a significant role in reshaping.

“He was an asset in navigating globalized markets as well as also of which has been so hard for the industry to adapt to,” said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of data strategy for Edmunds, which provides information on cars as well as also the auto industry. “Then you factor in Nissan’s woes here within the U.S., they can definitely use a dose of his bold decision-doing as well as also nose for the future. So definitely This specific will be coming at a terrible time.”

Ghosn was known for his larger-than-life personality as well as also for his tireless work schedule shuttling across the globe to manage several automotive businesses across different continents. He was also credited with having a global vision as well as also the ability to see possibilities various other executives missed.

Many people thought the 1999 strategic alliance between French automaker Renault as well as also Japanese company Nissan, a deal he engineered, was preposterous as well as also doomed to fail.

“I said This specific would likely never work” former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday “as well as also to my amazement This specific has worked fabulously well for both companies.”

Turning around Nissan made Ghosn something of a hero in Japan: there have been dishes at restaurants named after him as well as also a Japanese comic book about his life.

“If you have not been a villain at a certain point in time, you will never be a hero,” he said when asked about the book. “as well as also the day you are a hero, you may become a villain the next day.”

He was also known for his bold bet on electric vehicles, exemplified by Nissan’s low-cost as well as also well-known electric Leaf sedan. In 2017, he said he thought Nissan was probably the only automaker of which was doing money off the fledgling powertrain technology.

Ghosn’s personality, work ethic as well as also preference for swift-direct action has earned him comparisons to the late Fiat-Chrysler CEO Marchionne. The chain-smoking, espresso swilling as well as also blunt-tongued executive unexpectedly died earlier This specific year, sending shockwaves through the industry.

While there are some differences between the two executives, they both shared a few common traits.

“You have these firebrands of which are at the helm, as well as also their tenures have been marked by definitely bold decision-doing, as well as also This specific has come bundled with definitely big personalities,” Acevedo said.

Like Ghosn, Marchionne was known for being a tirelessly hard worker who slept on flights through one office to another. He also had to intregrate auto brands of which spanned continents as well as also entirely different cultures. As Ghosn will be credited with breathing brand-new life into Renault as well as also Nissan, Marchionne was credited with saving Chrysler after the company declared bankruptcy during the financial crisis in 2009.

“There are shades of Marchionne here,” Krebs said.

“We have lost the two most provocative, vocal, big personality individuals within the auto industry, apart through Elon Musk, who still has to prove himself,” she said. “They don’t make them like of which anymore.”

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