Carlos Ghosn’s ‘Netflix-show-but-real-life’ existence since he fled authorities after being charged with financial crimes has hit something of a plot snag.
The former Nissan chief executive is currently in hiding in the amnesty of Lebanon, and seems to be spending most of his time appearing in interviews for the purpose of dragging his old company through the mud.
In his latest appearance, Ghosn criticised Nissan for lacking direction when it comes to its plans for electric vehicles. Speaking during an online Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan event, Ghosn didn’t mince his words; claiming vindication over his overseeing of the first Leaf while taking aim at where Nissan currently sits in the market.
“Everybody was laughing at us,” Ghosn said, referring to the Nissan Leaf’s early years. He believes Nissan has squandered its early jump on the market, saying the brand has “no image about this huge technological transformation that is taking place”.
“They are really in a very bad position in this race. There is no vision. They don’t know where they’re going,” he added. “The market is moving with the right amount of money at the right speed. We’re going 100 per cent electric. The market is telling you we are completely writing off the combustion engine.”
Nissan recently held its Ambition 2030 event, where it debuted four new electric vehicle concepts and simultaneously announced a significant increase in its electric vehicle investment.
The firm is set to invest over $25billion into electric vehicles over the next five years, with 15 new electric vehicles (and eight new hybrids) set to hit the market by 2030.
Closer to Kiwi shores, the manufacturer has already confirmed that it will start to offer e-Power electrified models in New Zealand showrooms from next year, starting off with the Qashqai e-Power.
Production on its delayed Ariya electric crossover is set to start in Q1 of next year (local arrival isn’t expected until 2023), and there’s significant rumour that the next-generation Leaf will move from a hatchback silhouette to a lifted compact crossover silhouette.
This isn’t the first time that Ghosn has criticised Nissan and other legacy manufacturers for not moving fast enough on EVs. In September he made similar comments about Nissan, adding that the firm is “boring and mediocre”.
“Nissan came back to what it was in 1999, unfortunately, after 19 years of work, as a boring and mediocre car company, which is going to be struggling to try to find its place in the car industry,” he said.
“We were building a system where [Nissan] would be a part of something completely new with a lot of technical innovation.”