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Nissan President Is ‘Automobile Man Of The Year’


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Paris, March 8: Mr Carlos Ghosn, president of Japanese carmaker Nissan was named the automobile industry’s "Man of the Year" on Thursday by a jury of 31 journalists assembled by the French publication Journal de L’Automobile.

Mr Ghosn, who was to receive his prize here later in the day, managed to rescue Nissan from near bankruptcy when it formed an alliance with Renault of France in 1999. The company’s recovery came one year ahead of the target Mr Ghosn had set for himself.

The Japanese carmaker has since returned to profitabilty due to a drastic restructuring masterminded by Mr Ghosn that cost 21,000 jobs over three years and the closure of five plants in Japan.

In 2001, it was largely thanks to the contribution from Nissan that Renault, suffering from unprofitable aging models and economic crises in Turkey and Argentina, was able to report that profits had been held at the same level as the previous year.

Mr Ghosn has said he intended to remain behind the steering wheel at Nissan until the end of a new three year plan starting April 1 and which ends in 2005.

At that time, the mandate of Renault chairman Louis Schweitzer runs out. Mr Schweitzer has already described Mr Ghosn as his "natural successor."

The 2000 prize was given to Ferrari’s head of Sports management, in 1999 to Peugeot’s products and markets director, Bruno de Guibert, and in 1998 to Mr Louis Schweitzer.


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