Following the news that Nissan has filed a $90m lawsuit against its former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who jumped bail in Japan last year while facing charges of financial misconduct;
David Leggett, Automotive Editor at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“The Ghosn saga will grab headlines but the spotlight will return to Nissan’s business performance imminently. Nissan may well report a quarterly operating loss tomorrow (February 13), a development that would shock investors.
“The company faces headwinds in the shape of sluggish sales in key markets – notably the US and Japan – as well as disruption to production caused by the impact of the coronavirus on its supply-chains.
“Attention will swing once again to efforts led by CEO Makoto Uchida to recover Nissan’s business performance and ongoing cost cutting efforts around the world – including 12,500 job cuts and the closure of unprofitable plants over the next three years.
“The mid-term business plan announced last year was a break with the expansionist strategy championed by Carlos Ghosn and in particular, away from the heavy use of incentives in the US to push sales that ultimately dragged down profits.
“Investors will be looking for signs that the new strategy sets a credible course for higher profits.
“Another important element in the outlook is the alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi that provides annual cost savings of EUR5 billion for its participants. Investors will be looking for reassurance that the alliance is on track to continue delivering synergies and cost benefits, while Nissan remains committed to it in the long-term, in spite of the tensions with Renault thrown up by the Ghosn affair.”