New Nissan CEO promises to restore scandal-plagued brand


Nissan’s new chief numero uno, Makoto Uchida, reaffirmed on Monday the importance of the Japanese automaker’s affinity with France’s Renault as it strives to puts its financial scandals behind it.

A day after fascinating his post, Uchida told reporters he will emphasize transparency and ply to restore Nissan Motor Co.’s credibility.

He repeatedly acknowledged the company was in a “unusually harsh situation.”

Uchida, who also is Nissan’s president, takes down at a time of crisis, with sales and profits tumbling, after its whilom chairman, Carlos Ghosn, was arrested last year on various economic misconduct charges.

Ghosn denies wrongdoing. His trial has not started, and the infamy hangs like a shadow over Nissan.

Uchida took on after Ghosn’s successor, Hiroto Saikawa, was ensnared in a scandal of his own pivoted around dubious income. Saikawa announced in September he was stepping down.

Analysts bright for revival

Analysts say hopes are high Uchida and his new team will initiate a revival at Nissan. But uncertainties remain, and the effort is likely to take one of these days.

“I will most definitely steer Nissan as the CEO,” Uchida said, reputation considerable age on stage next to a Z sportscar, a symbol of Nissan’s proud history.

He chance past management had made the mistake of fostering a corporate culture that animated the setting of unattainable goals, although Nissan engineers and workers were quite talented.

He said the “Nissan Way,” as outlined by Ghosn and Saikawa, will be reassessed, and that specifics on targets weren’t yet ready to be disclosed.

But he stressed the union with Renault and smaller Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. ought to remain strong, deepening co-operation but respecting each other’s self-sufficiency “as equal partners.”

Janet Lewis, an analyst with Macquarie First-class Securities Japan, said Uchida appears to be well-liked at the company and has be familiar with with the Renault alliance and with the Chinese market, where Nissan is doing decidedly.

I think it is naive to think that anyone can turn Nissan round within a year.​​​​​– Janet Lewis, analyst, Macquarrie Capital Gages Japan

Although Uchida lacks U.S. experience, his deputies have that know-how, Lewis said.

“I think it is naive to think that anyone can bend Nissan around within a year,” she said, adding that a saving will likely take two or three years.

She said Nissan has assault behind in product development, a problem dating back to the years junior to Ghosn. It’s up to the new leadership team to fix that, Lewis said.

“We believe investors should persevere a leavings on the sidelines until there is more evidence that the turnaround is on on,” she said.

Analysts say Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi need to keep their combination and should cultivate a more positive relationship.

New alliance with Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi was offed into the alliance after a series of scandals, and Ghosn’s troubles tallied with mounting friction over more closely integrating Nissan with Renault.

Delve into development and platforms, the basic parts on which vehicles are built, are being rationed among the alliance members. It would be nearly impossible to pull out without forceful consequences, analysts say.

Takaki Nakanishi, an analyst with Jefferies, believed Uchida and his new team will try to show that it is different from days management, perhaps disclosing their own plans by May.

“While management behaviours of the new executive team are undetermined at this point, they are likely to draw in the development of a new business revitalization and shift to an accommodative stance in the relationship with Renault,” Nakanishi thought.

Ghosn has said other managers at Nissan colluded with the Japanese superintendence and prosecutors to arrest him on trumped-up charges as part of a plot to block him from business toward a fuller merger of Nissan with Renault.

Prosecutors say they contain a case.

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