Carlos Ghosn might be gone from Nissan and Renault, but he still has some strong opinions on how the Japanese and French brands’ alliance operates.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, Mr Ghosn said the Alliance has now become “small and fragile”.
He also said it “saddens [him] to see that Renault is only a shadow of its former self.”
Mr Ghosn lays blame for Renault’s current state with its management and the French Government.
The latter is a 15 per cent shareholder in Renault, and bailed it out with a €5 billion ($7.9 billion) loan in 2020, on the back of a disastrous €7.29 billion ($11.51 billion) loss in the first half of 2020.
The influence of the French and Japanese governments is also rumoured to have caused friction in the Alliance during Mr Ghosn’s time at the top.
During the court case of former Nissan director Greg Kelly, who was arrested as part of the same sting that saw Mr Ghosn detained, it was found Ghosn had pressed for closer ties between Nissan and Renault during his time at the top, only to have his push rejected by Nissan.
Mr Ghosn said the Alliance’s latest product roadmap fell flat.
“They could have come up with something a little more subtle” Mr Ghosn said in regard to this roadmap.
“It’s all very well to make announcement about plans, but strategy is only five per cent, while action and results are 95 per cent.”
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has seen consistent sales decline since 2018, when it sold 10.75 million cars worldwide.
In late January 2022 the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance laid out the agenda for each brand’s future products. It also indicated how much each vehicle would share to keep costs down, and how much differentiation they’d have.
The presentation pointed to an expansion of the leader-follower development system, more electric vehicles and shared platforms, as well as common battery parts, hardware and software.
Mr Ghosn has previously criticised Nissan’s electric vehicle plan, saying the company is falling behind and lacks vision. He was at the helm of Nissan when it launched the first Leaf, something of a trailblazer that has now been overtaken.
Mr Ghosn is currently an international fugitive and is living in Lebanon, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan.
He was indicted four times in Japan over allegations of financial misconduct and fled the country inside a box in December 2019. Mr Ghosn maintains his innocence to this day.