Nissan on gradual recovery path, incoming CEO Uchida tells staff

This post was originally published on this site

By Norihiko Shirouzu

BEIJING (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co’s incoming chief executive Makoto Uchida told employees on Friday that his mission is to “restore business performance and regain trust in Nissan”.

“Nissan is on the right path for recovery … although it might be a gradual process,” Uchida, who is Nissan’s China chief, said in a video message posted on an internal company website.

Someone who saw the video made details of it available to Reuters.

Uchida is expected to formally take up the CEO post by Jan. 1, 2020.

His appointment was announced in early October, along with decisions by the board of Japan’s second-biggest automaker (T:) to name Mitsubishi Motors (T:) executive Ashwani Gupta chief operating officer and Nissan executive Jun Seki vice chief operating officer.

The three will take the helm of a company that has been shaken by turmoil following the downfall of former chairman Carlos Ghosn last year and the departure of former CEO Hiroto Saikawa last month.

Nissan’s profits have nearly evaporated and its business has weakened globally but especially in the United States.

To restore profitability, the Yokohama-based automaker is in the process of laying off some 12,500 employees globally and is trying to mend frayed ties with its alliance partner, Renault SA (PA:).

Following various internal meetings, Uchida told employees in the video he was convinced that Nissan was on the right path for recovery, though it might be a gradual process.

“However, please understand that I cannot do it alone,” he said.

“The most important thing right now is to have trust and full contribution from each one of you.”

Uchida said he was poised to use all his experience to turn the company around, which he stressed also “will include the building of alliance partnerships”.

In picking Uchida as the new global head of Nissan, the company’s board has chosen an executive known internally for close ties to top shareholder Renault and for a frank, straight-talking manner that has marked him as an outsider.

According to one long-time associate, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Uchida is known for his unflagging work ethic and relentless focus on cost control. The source described Uchida as direct and to the point in conversations, a “foreigner with a Japanese face”.

Uchida joined the car maker mid-career in 2003, a rarity in a country where top executives usually spend their entire working lives at the same company.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.