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Nissan CEO Ghosn to head troubled Mitsubishi Motors

Motoring
AP


Tokyo: Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Japan's Nissan Motor, was due to appear at a news conference Thursday amid reports he will become chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, presiding over efforts to turn the troubled automaker around.

The Brazilian-born Frenchman, who already heads Nissan and Renault, planned to meet media along with Mitsubishi's current chairman and CEO, Osamu Masuko.

Nissan plans to take a 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi, maker of the Outlander sport-utility vehicle and the i-MiEV electric car, becoming its largest shareholder.

The Japanese financial daily Nikkei and other news outlets have reported, without naming sources, that Ghosn would become Mitsubishi's chairman.

Nissan agreed to take charge after Tokyo-based Mitsubishi acknowledged in April that it cheated to inflate mileage for two of its minicar models, the eK wagon and eK Space, and mini-vehicles it made for Nissan. Earlier, Ghosn said the two companies will maintain separate identities, brands and dealerships after the deal.

The mileage scandal widened in August after the government ordered sales of eight more Mitsubishi models, including the Pajero sport utility vehicle, halted after finding their mileage ratings also were falsely inflated. The transport ministry said the cruise range on the i-MiEV electric car was also overstated.

No overseas models are affected.

Mitsubishi's vehicle sales in Japan have nosedived, falling 35 per cent last month compared to the same month last year. The company also faces costs of compensating tens of thousands of vehicle owners in Japan.

Ghosn said earlier that the deal would not be final until "due diligence" is completed, but Nissan expects it to close before the year's end.

Mitsubishi's reputation was already marred by a massive, systematic and decades-long cover-up of defects that surfaced in the early 2000s.

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