Tokyo, Nov 26 (AP): The board of Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors, which is allied with Renault and Nissan, voted unanimously Monday to dismiss Carlos Ghosn as its chairman following his arrest last week.
Prosecutors arrested Ghosn on November 19 on suspicion he under-reported his income by USD 44 million over five years.
Nissan Motor Co ousted him as its chairman last week, saying an internal investigation prompted by a whistleblower also found Ghosn misused company money and assets.
Mitsubishi Motors' CEO Osamu Masuko, chosen by the board as acting chairman pending a shareholders' meeting, said Ghosn would not be able to perform his duties, considering his arrest and Nissan's dismissal of him as chairman.
Masuko said he did not know the specifics of the criminal allegations and declined comment on the case.
When asked for his personal view about the situation, Masuko said he was baffled.
"To be honest, I was shocked, and I couldn't believe it," he told reporters at Mitsubishi Motors' showroom at headquarters.
"I still can't figure out why, and I just don't understand."
But Masuko insisted the three-way alliance will persevere, saying it's critical for the automakers' futures, especially in working together on new technologies such as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and connectivity for vehicles.
"We believe the alliance is needed," Masuko told reporters at Mitsubishi Motors' showroom at headquarters.
"Where the three companies are headed is not confrontation."
Ghosn was central in creating the alliance, but would have had to leave eventually, he said, adding just that the "timing had come sooner."
Renault has kept Ghosn as chief executive, while appointing an interim chair while the company awaits more information about the allegations against him.
The disruptions over Ghosn's case have added to worries about the future of the alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, whose status as the most recent addition could be more precarious.
European media have speculated that the case against Ghosn was partly driven by a desire to fend off moves to merge Renault and Nissan and keep the company under Japanese control.
Resentment within the Japanese automaker against Ghosn's pay and power may also have played a role.
Ghosn has been a dominant force in the Japanese auto industry for nearly two decades.
He led the addition of Mitsubishi into the alliance in 2016 after the smaller automaker was embroiled in an inspections reporting scandal.
Nissan holds a 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi.
Japanese media, citing unidentified sources, are reporting that Ghosn and Greg Kelly, an executive who was arrested on suspicion of collaborating with him, are asserting their innocence. Ghosn has not commented publicly.
The two executives have not yet been charged. Under Japanese law, a suspect can be held in custody for up to three weeks per suspected charge without any charges being filed.
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Ranchi, Oct 18: Having lost nine successive tosses in Asia, an exasperated South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won't mind sending "someone else" in his place for the toss of the coin in the third and final Test against India, beginning here Saturday.
South Africa have struggled in Indian conditions and not winning the toss in the first two Tests has only made things tougher for them. Opting to bat in Visakhapatnam and Pune, India put up 500-plus totals to virtually bat the visitors out of the game.
"We really want to make sure that we compete with this team in their own conditions. We have done it in stages in the first Test. So, hoping that we can start with the toss tomorrow.
"Probably we will change... send someone else to the toss tomorrow. I can give you that... because my records so far has not been great," said du Plessis, in a lighter vein, on the eve of the game.
Du Plesiss said "anything is possible" if his side get to bat first.
"If you put big runs in the first innings, that's where it need to stop. Then anything from there is possible. Hopefully that will unfold in the next couple of days and hopefully we can put some runs on.
"The pitch looks a little bit drier and crustier so first innings runs will be vital and then anything from there is possible in the second innings," the South African skipper added.