Nissan management on the grill by shareholders

(Tokyo) The leaders of the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan were heavily criticized on Monday by small shareholders at the group's general meeting, both on its governance, its credibility after the Ghosn affair and on its uncertain future. in the crisis.

France Media Agency

“It seems to me that Renault controls Nissan […], I think that this weighs on Nissan's performance. The French may excel in the arts, but in technology they are weak! Launched a small porter.

Renault holds 43% of Nissan, while the Japanese group owns 15% of the French manufacturer, but without voting rights.

The president of Renault and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance, Jean-Dominique Senard, as well as a Renault director, Pierre Fleuriot, also sit on the Nissan board of directors.

“I fear that Nissan will disappear in two years […]. We need a strong leader, there are too many chefs in the kitchen […]. Is it karaoke or what? “Tackled another small shareholder, nostalgic for the former boss Carlos Ghosn, or at least for the charisma he exuded.

“Nissan lacks credibility and does not inspire confidence” since the shattering ouster of Carlos Ghosn at the end 2018 on charges of financial embezzlement, a reproached another. Mr. Ghosn fled to late Lebanon 2019 to escape Japanese justice.

“You don't make cars that people want to buy,” said another shareholder.

Faced with this torrent of criticism, Nissan chief executive officer Makoto Uchida has delivered only agreed responses.

The group suffered a colossal net loss of 671, 2 billion yen (about 8.5 billion CAN) in its last annual exercise 2019 – 2020 and has not published a forecast for the current financial year, which promises to be very Gloomy also due to the persistent COVID pandemic – 19.

Nissan has not paid a dividend for the past year and does not plan to do so until it has returned to positive cash levels, which Mr. Uchida said he hoped to achieve “on the second semester 2021/22 “.

In an attempt to climb up the slope, the group intensified its restructuring plan last month, notably by deciding to close its factory in Barcelona (Spain).

Nissan is also banking on the launch of new models, starting with the Ariya, a SUV 100% electric, which will be officially presented on 15 July.

The group also intends to rely largely on its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, whose new strategy aims primarily to restore profitability.

“Nissan will change […]. If Nissan’s performance doesn’t improve (in the long run, editor's note), please fire me, “said Uchida to the angry shareholders.

Only one resolution was on the agenda on Monday: the re-election of the 12 members of the council of group administration, which was approved at the end of the general meeting.