November 23, 2018 10:25 CET
PARIS — Renault is “perfectly organized” to ensure it will be business as usual in the absence of CEO Carlos Ghosn, who remains in detention in Japan on suspicion of financial fraud, deputy CEO Thierry Bollore said in a video statement released on Twitter and the automaker’s website.
It was the first public statement from Bollore, Renault’s chief operating officer, who was made deputy CEO by the company’s board on Tuesday to take over Ghosn’s duties. Ghosn, who was arrested in Japan on Monday, was not removed from his posts as CEO and chairman at Renault, but on Thursday, the Nissan board of directors voted unanimously to remove Ghosn as chairman from Renault’s Japanese alliance partner.
“During this particular situation I want you to know that our group is perfectly organized to assure the continuity of the company’s business,” Bollore said in the video. He did not mention Ghosn by name or reference the accusations against him.
Renault would stay focused on preserving the “interests of Group Renault and the sustainability of the alliance” with Nissan and Mitsubishi, Bollore said.
Bollore, a veteran of Michelin and supplier Faurecia who joined Renault in 2012 sought to project a message of continuity. “To our 180,000 employees worldwide, as well as to our customers and partners, I would like to say that you can count on my full commitment.”
Ghosn’s arrest has clouded the future of the alliance created in 1999 when Renault acquired a controlling stake in Nissan, then burdened by debt and declining market share.
Bollore said Renault would benefit in coming months from the release of several new models, including the fifth generation of the Clio subcompact hatchback and the automaker’s best-selling model in Europe. The Clio will arrive in Europe at the beginning of next year, he said.
“These are exciting opportunities,” Bollore said.
Bollore became No. 2 at Renault in February, as Ghosn prepared Renault and the alliance for his eventual departure, at some point before his current mandate expires in 2022. Ghosn’s arrest has thrown that timetable into disarray.
Contact Automotive News