Fugitive Ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Predicts Nissan Will Go Bankrupt by 2022
First he pulls a Houdini, and now a Nostradamus.
Nissan is falling on hard times in an already slumping market. The sales of both its main and luxury brands are suffering and dealers are turning to new management with complaints of the automaker losing its once noble reputation. According to predictions ushered by CEO-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn, these flopping sales figures are just the start of Nissan's trouble, with the end result potentially being bankruptcy by 2022.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Ghosn spent two months discussing his recent events with defense attorney Nobuo Gohara prior to skipping bail and stuffing himself inside of a musical instrument case to escape what he believed to be unfair prosecution in Japan. Ghosn spent 130 days in a Tokyo jail awaiting trial and performed the very public stunt as a measure to begin clearing his name.
During the meetings, one particular conversation reportedly switched focus to Nissan's future, something which Ghosn is convinced will be plagued with financial worries.
“He told me that Nissan will probably go bankrupt within two to three years,” said Gohara during a news conference, adding that Ghosn didn't give a particular reason for his prediction.
Ghosn and Gohara had allegedly been meeting regularly during the two months leading up to the ex-CEO's escape from Japan. In total, the pair had more than 10 hours of interviews and five total meetings, the last of which occurred only two days prior to the CEO escaping to his childhood homeland of Beirut. The interviews were said to be in preparation for a book that Gohara planned to publish just prior to Ghosn's trial, though the project is reportedly now on hold for reasons unrelated to the recent dramatic escape.
Despite sales being in the gutter, Nissan's balance sheets tell the story of an automaker that can satisfy its short-term debts. On paper, this makes it look like Nissan isn't in immediate financial distress, but that could change if sales continue tanking or a series of large expenditures forces the company to take on a large debt. Nissan announced in 2018 that it would begin cost-cutting measures by reducing production capacity for North America. In 2019, it doubled down by announcing a nine-percent cut to its global workforce, placing 12,500 total jobs on the chopping block.
Nissan seems to be actively looking to remedy the problems surroundings its finances and reputation. Recently, the automaker met with a number of dealers to discuss its future and was slammed for a number of reasons, one of which was the company's conservative approach to refreshing its portfolio. Should Nissan begin to rapidly update its lineup or take on a number of high-dollar projects without consumer buy-in, Ghosn's predictions could become a reality.
For now, the world continues to watch as the former prestigious executive chops away at the claims against him.
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