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Nissan AGM: Saikawa apologises for Ghosn scandal, prioritises recovery

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Nissan AGM: Saikawa apologises for Ghosn scandal, prioritises recovery

Nissan AGM: Saikawa apologises for Ghosn scandal, prioritises recovery

Nissan on Tuesday threw cold water on hopes for a quick fix to strained relations with France's Renault.

As David Pollard reports, shareholders at Japan's second-biggest automaker voted on a new governance structure and 11-member board at a meeting in Yokohama.

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Nissan AGM: Saikawa apologises for Ghosn scandal, prioritises recovery

This was Nissan's first AGM since former Chairman Carlos Ghosn was ousted last year - after his arrest for suspected financial misconduct.

Among the first items on the agenda: a public apology for the scandal.

Ghosn denies wrongdoing - but the scandal has strained Nissan's 20-year-old partnership with Renault - a 43 per cent shareholder in the Japanese carmaker .... And this meeting heard Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa apparently rebuff any moves towards greater integration between the two.

"We want a win-win relationship," he told shareholders.

But: SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) NISSAN MOTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HIROTO SAIKAWA, SAYING: "I don't think merging is the best answer." People at both carmakers have said recent public disagreements have dissolved an image of unity promoted only months ago.

Saikawa's comments appear to throw cold water on hopes for a quick fix.

But: Renault did have one key demand confirmed.

That its CEO and its chairman would be nominated to two key board committees - as part of a programme to improve auditing and oversight at Nissan.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) RENAULT CHAIRMAN, JEAN-DOMINIQUE SENARD, SAYING: "I have voted this new governance scheme at the board meeting, because I think it's going in exactly the right direction, of more transparency, more accountability...." Saikawa was returned as CEO as shareholders voted in a new 11-member board.

Nissan will, he said, prioritise recovery of a dismal recent financial performance.

Adding that discussions on the future direction of the alliance would, in the meantime, be postponed.




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