Nissan faces US SEC investigation over executive pay

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn remains in a Tokyo detention center, facing three charges of financial impropriety. (Reuters)
Updated 28 January 2019
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Nissan faces US SEC investigation over executive pay

  • News of the investigation comes as Nissan deals with the fallout from the shock November 19 arrest of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn
  • Ghosn who remains in a Tokyo detention center facing three charges of financial impropriety

TOKYO: The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Nissan over executive pay, the firm said Monday, the latest blow for the auto giant reeling from the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial misconduct.
“I can confirm that we have received an inquiry from the SEC, and are cooperating fully,” said Nissan spokesman Nicholas Maxfield.
He declined to provide any further details. Bloomberg News reported the probe was focused on whether Nissan disclosed executive pay properly and had adequate controls to prevent improper payments.
News of the investigation comes as Nissan deals with the fallout from the shock November 19 arrest of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who remains in a Tokyo detention center facing three charges of financial impropriety.
He faces two charges of under-stating his pay over the course of eight years, and a third related to an alleged scheme to transfer personal losses to the Japanese automaker’s books.
Nissan, which said it began investigating Ghosn after a whistleblower report, also faces charges over the alleged under-reporting of compensation.
Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing, but Nissan moved quickly after his arrest to remove him as chairman.
The Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese tycoon has also been removed from leadership posts at Mitsubishi Motors and Renault.
The three automakers form an alliance that Ghosn forged and led, and his arrest has laid bare internal tensions.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said he wanted to maintain “balance” in the alliance.
He also said he had told Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he was “concerned” about Ghosn’s ongoing detention.
The tycoon has repeatedly sought release on bail to no avail, with the courts ruling he is a flight risk and could tamper with evidence if freed.


Nissan to cut global production by 15 percent

Updated 2 min 9 sec ago
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Nissan to cut global production by 15 percent

  • Nissan aims to produce about 4.6 million units in fiscal 2019
  • Nissan was not immediately available for comment

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. will cut global production by about 15 percent for the current fiscal year ending March 2020, as it shifts away from the aggressive expansion campaign promoted by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Friday.
That would be the steepest production cut in more than a decade by the Japanese automaker, as it battles weak sales in overseas markets including the United States where it plans to scale back sales operations, the Nikkei reported.
Nissan aims to produce about 4.6 million units in fiscal 2019, the Nikkei said, citing plans being communicated to the automaker’s suppliers. The move is likely to impact earnings and could cast a pall over Nissan’s alliance with French automaker Renault SA, the Nikkei reported, without elaborating.
Earlier this year, Nissan, which has been battling falling sales, lowered its operating profit forecast for the current fiscal year to 450 billion yen ($4 billion), 22 percent lower than a year earlier. It would be Nissan’s lowest profit since 2013.
Nissan was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.
Shares in Nissan, mired in a financial misconduct scandal involving Ghosn and the company itself, were trading down 1.2 percent early on Friday, versus a 0.6 percent rise in the broader market.