TOKYO: Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors are considering the possibility of jointly requesting damages from Carlos Ghosn, the former president of both car manufacturers, after revelations that he improperly received 7.82 million euros ($ 8.9 million) in payments from a joint venture based in the Netherlands.
Ghosn collected compensation from April to November without the permission of the other Nissan-Mitsubishi B.V. board members, as required by company policy, according to an internal investigation by Japanese automakers published on Friday. It was also discovered that a Nissan employment agreement was not authorized to do so.
The compensation was "not discussed" by the board, Mitsubishi president and general manager Osamu Masuko, who serves on the board of the joint venture along with Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, told reporters.
NMBV was established to generate synergies between the two Japanese automakers, which are part of a three-way alliance with the French automaker Renault. The joint venture badyzes the success of such efforts and administers compensation related to the collaboration of automobile manufacturers.
"We are considering cooperation with Nissan to seek liability," Masuko said, suggesting that automakers would seek damages. "We will consider the best method."
Although NMBV does not disclose the compensation as an unconsolidated subsidiary of both carmakers, Masuko and Saikawa did not receive any compensation from the joint venture, according to the companies.
"We must take the necessary steps to eliminate Ghosn as director" of NMBV, said Masuko.
Ghosn was arrested for the first time on November 19 for underestimating his salary at Nissan. Mitsubishi fired him as president and representative director at a board meeting on November 26 and launched an internal investigation.
Nissan also quickly eliminated Ghosn as president and chief representative. The dismissal of Ghosn as CEO of Renault is expected soon.
The French automaker and Nissan are expected to start a joint investigation. The partners are quickly trying to control the situation as a long-standing problem could hamper collaboration and sow distrust among them.
"This problem is separate from the alliance," Masuko said of the automakers' badociation, and said they plan to continue prioritizing cooperation.
"It is difficult for a single company to do everything in the current automotive industry," he said. "Using our combined strengths is crucial."