Carlos Ghosn: beyond the cost-cutter

Carlos Ghosn, who is as of early 2018 Chairman and CEO of France-based Renault, Chairman and former CEO of Japan-based Nissan, and Chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, is typically known as the cost cutter who achieved the turnarounds at Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi through ruthless focus on removing operational inefficiencies. Yet the successful renewal of these brand cannot just be attributed to cost-cutting but also to innovation in product design which is an aspect that gets often overlooked in turnaround management.  

One of the first things Product Planning did,” says Collins, “was define the brand identities of both Nissan and Infiniti, with the understanding that Nissan–which is the larger volume brand–would be the first to be revitalized.” It didn’t take long, Collins claims, for the product planning groups to differentiate the brands by powertrain layout, with Nissan producing predominately front-drive cars, and Infiniti rear-drive vehicles. This would move the brands in distinct directions, and make Infiniti a more credible player in the luxury segment, despite the potential savings that could be gained from building the Infiniti models off the Nissan platforms.