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Ghosn To Be Detained 10 Days; Crisis Straining Renault-Nissan Alliance

Penalty could include 10-year prison sentence.

by on Nov.21, 2018

Carlos Ghosn could remain in jain for as long as 10 days. The crisis is putting a strain on the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of Nissan Motor Co., could spend as much as 10 days under detention after being arrested by Japanese authorities early this week for alleged financial misdeeds, according to news reports from Tokyo.

The 64-year-old executive, long one of the most respected leaders in the global auto industry, faces the prospect of being fired this week by Nissan’s board which is set to meet at company headquarters in Yokohama. However, the board of Renault SA, the Nissan alliance partner where Ghosn served as CEO, declined to dismiss Ghosn, at least for the time being, while details of his alleged crimes have yet to be fully disclosed.

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The crisis is putting a strain on the nearly two decade-old relationship between Nissan and Renault, as well as smaller Mitsubishi, the automaker in which Nissan purchased a controlling stake two years ago. Together, the three manufacturers cooperate as the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance coordinating everything from parts purchasing to vehicle manufacturing, though they remain independent entities. (more…)

Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Savior, Could Bring Their Alliance Tumbling Down

Under arrest in Japan, 64-year-old exec likely to lose his many titles, too.

by on Nov.20, 2018

Carlos Ghosn remains Renault CEO — for now. Company officials appear to allowing the legal process to play out.

It took Carlos Ghosn two decades to transform three independent automakers into one of the world’s best-selling automotive alliances, but with the 64-year-old executive now sitting a Japanese jail, accused of a variety of financial misdeeds, that empire could come crashing down.

On Monday, Nissan broke its silence after completing a months-long investigation it said was “based on a whistleblower report.” Ghosn and another senior executive were arrested as they arrived in Japan from alliance partner Renault’s headquarters in France. The Brazilian-born Ghosn was accused of under-reporting his corporate income by as much as $45 million, while also misappropriating corporate funds.

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“I feel strong anger and disappointment,” Ghosn’s handpicked successor as Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told reporters at Nissan headquarters in Yokohama. “I am very sorry.” (more…)

Carlos Ghosn Fired by Nissan, Reportedly Arrested for Misconduct

Investigation triggered by whistleblower, automaker confirms.

by on Nov.19, 2018

Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested Japan as part of an investigation about falsifying income and misusing company assets.

One of the most visible faces of the global auto industry has been fired and reportedly arrested, Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn accused of financial misconduct.

Once so popular after helping save the then-struggling automaker, Ghosn inspired a widely read Japanese comic book. But on Monday, Tokyo media reported, he was brought in before Japanese prosecutors who are questioning the executive about claims he both falsified income statements and misused company assets. A second senior executive is also facing allegations of corruption.

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“Based on a whistleblower report, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has been conducting an internal investigation over the past several months regarding misconduct involving the company’s Representative Director and Chairman Carlos Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly,” the automaker said in a statement. (more…)

Faraday Future Insists it Isn’t Going Away

New plan calls for leaner management, second product, even an IPO – if it can stay in business long enough.

by on Nov.14, 2018

In better days: Jia Yueting and Nick Sampson, helped unveil the FF91 at the 2016 CES.

Only a matter of weeks ago, battery-carmaker Faraday Future seemed ready to turn out the lights, co-founder Nick Sampson resigning and then declaring in a blog post that the company was “effectively insolvent.” But, despite a seemingly endless series of crises, including one that forced it to cancel a planned assembly plant in Nevada, Faraday’s new management team continue to project a surprisingly bullish take on their future.

Late Tuesday, in fact, the California-based company released a statement outlining its plans for the future, which included a new, “lean management” structure, and “fortified product plans” that not only include the original FF91 supercar but a second, more mainstream crossover.

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Of course, there is the minor issue of finding the necessary cash. Faraday’s latest crisis was kicked off when China’s Evergrande Health Industry Group backed out of a deal that was supposed to generate as much as $2 billion in capital. For the moment, the automaker says it is on the hunt for $500 million to get it back on track.

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Toyota Earnings Soar on Global Sales Surge

Automaker lifts full-year forecast.

by on Nov.06, 2018

Strong demand for Lexus, especially in the Chinese market, helped Toyota deliver strong earnings.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 28% increase in its net profit for the July-September quarter, earnings buoyed by strong demand in key global markets, including the Americas, Asia and Europe.

The Japanese giant also advised that it expects to see earnings push past earlier forecasts for the full year, in part driven by unexpectedly strong demand in China. Sales of the Lexus brand, have been booming there, despite a slowdown in the overall Chinese market.

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Sales gains were only one of the factors that propped up Toyota’s bottom line, said Senior Managing Masayoshi Shirayanagi. Referring to aggressive cost-cutting efforts, he said, “We are steadily making progress toward achieving our challenge-level target.”

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Ford, VW Discussions Now Far More Wide-Ranging Than Originally Planned

by on Nov.02, 2018

Ford and VW initially wanted to discuss cooperation on light commercial vehicles.

Talks between Ford and Volkswagen are covering far more territory than originally planned, when the two signed a memorandum of understanding in June that initially focused on joint development of commercial vehicles.

While Ford officials have told TheDetroitBureau.com there is no thought to an exchange of equity, virtually everything else seems at least open for discussion, with a number of key ventures being considered. According to various U.S. and European sources, these include joint development of a small pickup, cooperation on electrified and autonomous vehicles and possibly even collaboration on sales and marketing in trouble-spot markets, such as Europe and Latin America.

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Several reports have suggested that a major announcement could be in the offing, and a source close to the talks told TheDetroitBureau that “There could be an update by the end of the year.” But that person stressed that not all the discussions underway are likely to be resolved immediately, and could be spread out over months, even years – even “if everything (being negotiated) comes true.”

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GM Offering Buyouts to Salaried Employees to Cut Workforce

Automaker may terminate employees if buyout doesn't achieve results.

by on Oct.31, 2018

General Motors is offering buyouts to 18,000 employees as it seeks to streamline its North American operations.

After reporting a better-than-expected third quarter, General Motors is being “proactive” and offering voluntary buyouts to about 18,000 salaried employees in North America.

The offer is being extended to workers with 12 years or more experience and are designed to get ahead of rising costs, particularly in China. Employees were informed via a newsletter emailed Wednesday.

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The automaker reported a net profit of $2.53 billion during the July-to-September quarter, or $1.75 a share. A year ago, it lost $2.98 billion, or $2.03 a share, though that figure largely reflected the cost of completing the sale of its European-based Opel subsidiary to France’s PSA Group. (more…)

GM Handily Beats Earnings Forecast, Buoyed by Truck Sales

Shares soar in pre-bell trading.

by on Oct.31, 2018

GM's Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit.

General Motors delivered a positive surprise to analysts and investors on Wednesday morning, delivering significantly stronger earnings than had been forecast, buoyed by surging demand for its light truck line-up, including the completely redesigned Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

The announcement stands in sharp contrast to rival Ford Motor Co. which, last week, reported a significant decline in third-quarter income, despite strong demand for models like its F-150.

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GM said it earned a net of $2.53 billion during the July-to-September quarter, or $1.75 a share. A year ago, it lost $2.98 billion, or $2.03 a share, though that figure largely reflected the cost of completing the sale of its European-based Opel subsidiary to France’s PSA Group.

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Faraday Future “Effectively Insolvent,” Says Co-Founder

Battery-carmaker confirms second round of job cuts.

by on Oct.31, 2018

Nick Sampson, (r), one of the Faraday Future founders, is shown with investor Jia Yueting, (l) at the debut of the FF91 concept in January 2016.

The California-based battery-car company Faraday Future is “effectively insolvent,” according to co-founder Nick Sampson who resigned on Tuesday.

His departure comes as the once-promising company prepares for a second round of mass layoffs, a Faraday spokesman advised TheDetroitBureau.com late Tuesday evening. Faraday had already laid off a sizable number of its approximately 1,300 employees last week as it struggled to find enough cash to continue operating.

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“There is a furlough pending,” said spokesman Jacob Brown, adding that Faraday needs to take “drastic measures, but the executive team wants to keep the company running.”

(more…)

Tesla’s Musk Says Company Focusing on What’s Next

Company looking to expand Model 3 production.

by on Oct.25, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now focusing on the next task: another profitable quarter.

With a profitable quarter now in the books, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking to meet the next set of challenges, starting first with making a profit next quarter.

“It will be our aspiration for all quarters going forward,” he told analysts during the company’s earnings call yesterday. He also outlined additional goals for the company moving forward and dismissed negative notions about the company’s first profitable quarter in years.

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Musk said the company’s profit didn’t come at the expense of other things, such as cutting back on product development. In fact, he said he’d just approved the prototype for the Model Y and other improvements on the company’s second-generation Roadster. He confirmed the Model Y would be in production in 2020. (more…)