Renault: remains focused on alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi

Renault: remains focused on alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi

Renault: remains focused on alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi

Carlos Ghosn, the Brazilian-born chairman of Nissan, credited with reviving its fortunes over the past two decades, was detained on allegations of under-reporting his own income and misusing company assets.

Japan's Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday that Ghosn had received share price-linked compensation of about 4 billion yen over a five-year period to March 2015 but that it went unreported in Nissan's financial reports.

"There's no question Carlos Ghosn is being used as a symbol to ensure that corporate leadership in Japan will stay close to its workers".

Mr Ghosn and Nissan representative director Greg Kelly were taken into custody by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office after a whistleblower triggered an investigation into Mr Ghosn's financial affairs.

Ghosn and Kelly's current locations are not now known, but they can be held without charge for up to 23 days under Japanese law.

Ghosn runs Renault, Nissan and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance that he helped turn into the world's biggest car-seller past year, and both France and Japan want to keep it intact.

Japanese prosecutors raided Nissan's global headquarters in Yokahama after Mr Ghosn's arrest, seeking evidence.

Ghosn is suspected of omitting from the company's annual securities reports more than ¥100,000,000 ($886,000) in annual remuneration from a Dutch-based subsidiary, according to the sources.

But Mr Saikawa publicly played down that prospect earlier this year, prompting a private rebuke from Mr Ghosn, his one-time mentor, who warned his Japanese colleague that his comments risked undermining Nissan's credibility, according to a person with knowledge of the exchange.

"This is an act that can not be tolerated by our company", Mr Saikawa said, arguing that an excessive concentration of power in Mr Ghosn's hands created an environment ripe for misconduct.

Nissan's board now includes Ghosn, Saikawa and Kelly as three representative members. Ghosn is also chairman of Mitsubishi, and its board is set to meet in the coming days.

Ghosn has worked for Renault since 1996, and has been its chairman and CEO since 2005, was following a board meeting tonight (Tuesday), a day after the misconduct charges came to light.

So far the French government, which is Renault's largest shareholder, is reserving judgment on Mr Ghosn.

The debate at the top of Nissan adds another layer of complexity to a saga that's rippling through the powerful alliance.

Through complex cross-shareholding arrangements, Renault owns 43 percent in Nissan, including voting rights, while Nissan owns a 15 percent non-voting stake in Renault. Le Maire said authorities have examined Ghosn's tax situation in France but have found no wrongdoing.

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