Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn believes the coronavirus pandemic will lead to more consolidation across the automotive industry.
During a recent interview with CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell,’ Ghosn said that even when a vaccine is found and distributed, the industry will continue to suffer and believes companies lacking vision will likely become takeover targets for those that have better plans for the future or better balance sheets.
With this in mind, Ghosn speculated that companies like Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi may not survive.
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“I’m not very – optimistic – knowing what I know,” Ghosn said. “And particularly – the excuses and the explanation they are giving for the difficulties – not only in Nissan, but also at Renault and Mitsubishi models.”
The former executive, credited for saving Nissan, said that Elon Musk and Tesla have been leaders in the automotive industry, in particular during the coronavirus pandemic where Tesla shares have climbed almost 400 per cent.
“It speaks a lot about where the market is betting the future will be. And I can’t blame them,” he said. “You know, in a certain way, I can’t blame them. Now – is it excessive or not? Well – this will depend a lot on the future performance of Tesla. But I must say that Elon has done a great job into getting out all the potential of the company and exciting the markets. And this is to his benefit.”
Ghosn was speaking to CNBC from his home in Lebanon where he has been residing since escaping Japan on December 29 last year. He said he hopes that one day he will be able to leave Lebanon without fears of being arrested and expressed his surprise at the U.S. agreeing with Japan to extradite the two men instrumental in his escape, Michael Taylor and Peter Taylor.