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Mitsubishi Motors Board meets to remove President Ghosn

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corps ( 7211.T ) The board will meet on Monday to remove Carlos Ghosn from…

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corps ( 7211.T ) The board will meet on Monday to remove Carlos Ghosn from his role as chairman after his arrest and exile from alliance partner Nissan Motor Co ( 7201.T ) last week for alleged economic misconception.

PHILOTTO: Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, participates in the Tomorrow In Motion event on the threshold of the press day at the Paris Auto Show in Paris, France, October 1

, 2018. REUTERS / Regis Duvignau

A removal of Ghosn by Mitsubishi’s eight member meeting at the automaker headquarters in Tokyo at. 1630 (0730 GMT) would end his presidency of Japanese car manufacturers among dissatisfaction with French partners Renault SA ( RENA.PA ) role in the 19-year alliance.

Renault and Nissan sealed an alliance in 1999 when the Japanese automaker was rescued from close bankruptcy. It was expanded in 2016 to include Mitsubishi and enabled its members to jointly develop products and control costs. The Alliance is celebrated with Volkswagen AG ( VOWG_p.DE ) and Toyota Motor Corp. 7203.T ) for the ranking of the world’s largest automaker.

Even when Nissan has recovered and grew rapidly, it is still a junior partner in the shareholding structure. Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan and the Japanese automaker has a mutual 15 percent non-voting right in the French company. And Nissan is almost 60 percent bigger than Renault through sales.

Top-alliance leaders meet this week in Amsterdam, which aims to protect their joint operations from arresting Ghosn as a power struggle between Nissan and Renault looms. Renault has refrained from shooting him as chairman and chief executive officer.

Nissan’s CEO Hiroto Saikawa told the officials on Monday that the concentration of power in Ghosn meant that there was no direct communication between the other alliance board members, said a person who was familiar with the contents of the City Hall.

Nissan said it does not disclose details about internal events or communication to employees.

Ghosn pushed for a deeper commitment, including possibly a complete merger between Renault and Nissan at the French Government’s request, despite strong reservations from the Japanese company.

Nissan removed Ghosn at a spelled board meeting on Thursday after allegations of underestimating his income and using corporate money for personal use.

Ghosn has denied allegations, reported public broadcaster NHK on Sunday.

His firing from Mitsubishi Motors would mark the removal of the man credited with stabilizing the company after it was rocked by a cheating scandal in 2016.

Nissan has a controlling 34 percent in Mitsubishi Motors and has two directors on the board. The other representative boss is CEO Osamu Masuko, who said last week the alliance can be difficult to handle without Ghosn.

Although car manufacturers have emphasized that business and operations continue as usual, Nissan has postponed the launch of its high-performance Leaf electric car “to ensure that this important product coverage can get the coverage it deserves,” said a Nissan spokesman.

Shares in Mitsubishi Motors increased by 3.3 percent while Nissan rose 1.8 percent, exceeding the wider market’s .N225 0.8 percent profit.

Reporting by Maki Shiraki, Sam Nussey and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing Muralikumar Anantharaman

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