One can accuse Carlos Ghosn of many things, but not knowing how to run a car company isn’t one of them.
Not only did he accomplish the almost impossible task of turning Nissan’s fortunes around, but he also managed to make the Renault-Nissan Alliance work and even attract Mitsubishi under its orbit. He also pushed for a closer integration of Renault and Nissan and many believe that’s what ultimately led to his downfall.
While we’ll probably learn if that was the case in the coming years, it’s certain the man knew what he was doing. This is why we find it very interesting to learn that Ghosn said the Japanese automaker would go bankrupt within two or three years.
According to Bloomberg, Ghosn’s attorney in Japan, Nobuo Gohara, said the former CEO told him exactly that during more than 10 hours of interviews last year, shortly before skipping bail and escaping from Japan in spectacular fashion.
“He told me that Nissan will probably go bankrupt within two to three years,” said Gohara, a former prosecutor who, much like Ghosn, is a vocal critic of Japan’s justice system. The attorney held a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday recounting his conversations with Nissan’s former boss. Gohara added that Ghosn did not get into details regarding his grim prediction for Nissan.
The attorney also said he met and interviewed Ghosn five times in two months for a book he planned to publish before the start of the former executive’s trial. Gohara added he last met with Ghosn two days before his escape to Beirut and he had permission from the ex-CEO to disclose the details of their conversations.
Obviously, Ghosn’s prediction that Nissan will go bankrupt should be taken with a grain of salt given that he’s at war with the automaker which accuses him of many wrongdoings. However, the truth is the company is seeing declining car sales, especially in China and Europe. Nissan has cut profit and sales forecasts for the current fiscal year and said it would eliminate 12,500 jobs worldwide.