Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Nissan chief executive Makoto Uchida speaks during a shareholders meeting in Yokohama on June 29, 2020.

Toshifumi KITAMURA/The Associated Press

Nissan Motor Co. chief executive Makoto Uchida told shareholders Monday he is giving up half his pay after the Japanese automaker sank into the red amid plunging sales and plant closings in Spain and Indonesia.

Mr. Uchida apologized for the poor results and promised a recovery by 2023, driven by cost cuts and new models showcasing electric-car and automated-driving technology.

“We will tackle these challenges without compromise,” he said at a live-streamed meeting. “I promise to bring Nissan back on a growth track.”

Story continues below advertisement

All the world’s automakers have been hurt by nose-diving sales caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But the problems are especially serious for Nissan, which already was fighting to salvage its reputation after the financial misconduct scandal of its former star executive Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan, based in Yokohama, Japan, sank into its first annual loss in 11 years, reporting a 671.2 billion yen (US$6.3-billion) loss for the fiscal year that ended in March. It has not given a projection for this fiscal year, citing uncertainties over the virus outbreak.

One angry shareholder got up and said executives should give up more of their pay since investors were getting zero dividends. Another said Nissan needed to do more to strengthen its governance, arguing things have been getting worse, not better, since the departure of Mr. Ghosn, who was arrested in late 2018.

One stock owner appeared to speak up for Mr. Ghosn, stressing Nissan had lost people’s trust after ousting him without giving him a chance to defend himself over problems that might have been solved internally, instead appearing to collude with prosecutors and government officials.

Nissan officials denied any collusion and said the company has sued in civil court, seeking compensation for the damages it says it suffered because of Mr. Ghosn.

Mr. Ghosn was set to face trial in Tokyo on charges of underreporting future compensation and breach of trust when he fled to Lebanon in late 2019. He says he is innocent.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Uchida again outlined Nissan’s strategy to focus on three major global markets, Japan, China and North America, including Mexico, and relying on alliance partners for the other markets. The company also plans to reduce the number of models it offers.

But one investor noted Nissan sales weren’t picking up in the U.S. or China, and Nissan stock prices were continuing to slip.

Mr. Uchida reiterated Nissan wants to close the Barcelona plant, but said negotiations were continuing. Auto union workers have protested the move, which will lead to the loss of 3,000 jobs in the region.

One shareholder got applause from the crowd when he said Nissan lacks an attractive vision compared with Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp., which is aggressively developing ecological technology, and Honda Motor Co., boasting robots and jets in its lineup.

After a nearly two-hour shareholders’ meeting, the reappointment of all 12 board Nissan members were approved, shown by applause, and including votes taken ahead of time.

The board members include Jean-Dominique Senard, chairman of Nissan’s alliance partner Renault, who took part online from France but said nothing.

Story continues below advertisement

Two men suspected of helping Mr. Ghosn’s escape were arrested last month in the U.S. Japanese prosecutors are seeking their extradition. Japan is also trying to get Mr. Ghosn extradited, but Japan has no extradition treaty with Lebanon.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies