Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will also become head of scandal-plagued Mitsubishi Motors. It's expected that the Brazilian-born Frenchman will live up to his reputation as a rigid "cost killer" after taking over.
Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn on Thursday confirmed earlier media reports that he would become chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, presiding over efforts to turn the troubled carmaker around, while the current chairman and chief executive, Osamu Masuko, would stay as president.
The news came after Nissan announced a major investment in its scandal-hit rival. Nissan threw Mitsubishi a lifeline in May when it announced plans to buy a one-third stake in its domestic rival for about $2.2 billion (2 billion euros) as the smaller competitor wrestled with a mileage-cheating scandal that hammered sales.
The appointment will make Ghosn the head of three major auto makers, including France's Renault, which holds a major stake in Nissan.
"I speak for all of us when I say we will give our absolute commitment to support Mitsubishi Motors," Ghosn said in a statement.
Nicknamed "Le Cost Killer" in France, Ghosn is known for overhauling Renault and Nissan starting in the 1990s.
Mitsubishi vehicle sales had nosedived lately and the company faced costs of compensating tens of thousands of car owners in Japan.
"It's easier for Ghosn to do things he did at Nissan, such as combining production platforms, cutting costs and even closing plants," SBI Securities analyst Koji Endo told the AFP news agency.
"In order to implement such massive restructuring, you need someone as powerful as Ghosn to get things going," he added.
hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)