Arrest Carlos Ghosn, architect Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors car empire, caused a huge response and many questions in the automotive industry and in Japan, where Nissan and Mitsubishi shares sank on the Tokyo stock exchange on Tuesday.
At the end of the exchange, Nissan fell by 5.45% and Mitsubishi down 6.84% on the downward market (-1.09%).
The 64-year-old businessman was still arrested in the attack center in Tokyo the day after the interpellation when he left his private stream, while the Japanese newspaper talked about the "fall of the charismatic reformer."
The prosecution confirmed that he was detained for allegedly confidential revenue. According to the statement, Ghosn "conspired to minimize his salary five times between June 2011 and June 2015."
The treasury was declared 4,900 million yen (according to the current exchange rate of approximately 37 million euros), but Ghosn gained almost 10,000 million yen in that period, the prosecution said.
The prominent French-Lebanese-Brazilian leader was arrested Monday after an internal investigation by Nissan, which passed the prosecution's results.
At a press conference held in the evening, Japanese automaker chief Hiroto Saikawa also mentioned "other misuse, such as the use of property for personal use."
According to the press agency, Kyodo, quoting sources close to the case, would remain free on several properties in the Netherlands and in three other countries.
Saikawa has betrayed harsh words against his former mentor, Carlos Ghosn, concerned at concentrating too much power in his words. "It is a problem that so many authorities have been given to just one person," he said at the headquarters of the Yokohama group, outside Tokyo, and condemned the "dark side of Ghosn."
From this quarter, the Nissan Board of Directors decides to release its president. Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) announced a similar decision.
Since he was honored in Japan for saving Nissan in bankruptcy in 2000, and recently for Mitsubishi Motors to form a strong alliance with the French Renault group, Ghosn was humiliated on Tuesday.
"It's greedy, it's just a question of money," Nissan told reporters Yomiuri. "He asked his subordinates to meet difficult targets, but he still got a high pay, even though Nissan's activity was not that successful," he added.
At Nissan headquarters in Yokohama, employees were horrified. "It was quite unexpected, I do not know what I think," said a 38-year-old employee to the Nikkei Business Journal. "This is happening at the worst," he said, as Nissan suffered two consecutive scandals due to the failure of a vehicle inspection in Japan.
The Japanese and French authorities have confined themselves to claiming "stability for the alliance".
Japanese spokeswoman Yoshihide Suga assessed an "extremely unfortunate situation" but ruled out further comments.
There is now uncertainty about whether an alliance that results from a fragile balance between three very different entities will survive without Ghosna.
"We can not rule out the possibility of weakening the rate," said Kentaro Harada, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities. "First of all, the main question is whether it would disturb the balance of power" between the French and Japanese parties, he added.
Renault owns 43% of Nissan, which has 15% Renault and 34% Mitsubishi Motors. Recently, rumors about mergers have emerged.
The case law also awakens "countless questions", according to an expert. "Why are there abuse now and how could Ghosn, with Greg Kelly (another Nissan leader arrested) prove himself to falsify documents?" He asked.