The future of the Renault-Nissan Alliance looks to be uncertain, thanks to the arrest of Chairman Carlos Ghosn in Japan on fraud charges. There have been accusations that the whole thing is a palace coup put in place by Nissan top brass, among other interesting and admittedly pretty intricate developments. Instead of getting into all the nitty, gritty details, you should just know that things are getting worse, not better.
At the center of the scandal are allegations that Ghosn tried to get paid under the table, avoiding taxes and so forth. According to Reuters, there’s now evidence that executives from Renault and Nissan both tried to find legal ways to pay Ghosn without disclosing the amount of his compensation. Apparently, those legal avenues were abandoned, but it’s a smoking gun that could indicate the two automakers knew of the deceptive financial practices Ghosn allegedly preferred.
While Japanese authorities are taking their time to dig into the possible shady business, it’ll be interesting to see if France does the same. So far Ghosn is getting treated quite nicely there, maintaining his position as chairman and CEO of Renault.
With the differing views of what to do about Ghosn and the fallout, don’t be surprised if Nissan and Renault start disentangling from each other.