HEADING THREE AUTOMAKERS: Carlos Ghosn could be poised to head Mitsubishi Motors. He is already currently CEO of both Nissan and Renault. Image: AP / Christophe Ena
Tokyo - Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan, was due to hold a news conference on Thursday (October 20) amid reports he will become chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, presiding over efforts to turn the troubled automaker around.
Ghosn, who already heads Nissan and Renault, planned to meet media along with Mitsubishi's current chairman and CEO, Osamu Masuko.
Nissan plans to take a 34% stake in Mitsubishi, maker of the Outlander and i-MiEV electric car, becoming its largest shareholder.
The Japanese financial daily Nikkei and other news outlets have reported, without naming sources, that Ghosn would become Mitsubishi's chairman.
Nissan agreed to take charge after Tokyo-based Mitsubishi acknowledged in April that it cheated to inflate mileage for two of its minicar models, the eK wagon and eK Space, and vehicles it made for Nissan. Earlier, Ghosn said the two companies will maintain separate identities, brands and dealerships after the deal.
READ: Nissan buys controlling stake in scandal-hit Mitsubishi
The mileage scandal widened in August after the government ordered sales of eight more Mitsubishi models, including the Pajero sport utility vehicle, halted after finding their mileage ratings also were falsely inflated. The transport ministry said the cruise range on the i-MiEV electric car was also overstated.
No overseas models are affected.
Mitsubishi's vehicle sales in Japan have nosedived, falling 35% in September 2016 compared to the same month last year. The company also faces costs of compensating tens of thousands of vehicle owners in Japan.
READ: Nissan CEO will scrap Mitsubishi deal if fuel scandal widens
Ghosn said earlier that the deal would not be final until "due diligence" is completed, but Nissan expects it to close before the year's end.
Mitsubishi's reputation was already marred by a massive, systematic and decades-long cover-up of defects that surfaced in the early 2000s.