Fugitive Carlos Ghosn is now consulting with auto companies

  • Written by Axios
  • Published in Politics
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Former Nissan boss and international fugitive Carlos Ghosn predicts a major reordering of the power center in the auto industry, he told Axios in an exclusive interview.

Why it matters: Ghosn was once one of the automotive industry's most powerful leaders — among the first major execs to invest in electric vehicles. His comments now come during a major inflection point in the sector's transition to EVs as companies battle for positioning.

Driving the news: “I’m being solicited a lot by mainly small and startup companies which are trying to create for themselves a road into this new industry,” he says.

  • The once-globe-trotting citizen of Lebanon, Brazil and France spoke on Zoom from his home in Beirut, holding his phone vertically and reclining on a couch with a sprawling bookcase in the background.

Ghosn tells Axios he’s not interested in leading a major automotive company anymore, even if his charges disappear, saying he no longer has the motivation to do so. But he’s happy to consult with companies that contact him about how to tackle electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

  • “I’m trying to help companies get rid of the past,” he says.
  • Ghosn had high praise for Tesla and Elon Musk, marveling at the company surpassing $1 trillion in market capitalization. He says companies like Tesla and Rivian are best positioned to win the EV race.

The big picture: Ghosn predicts traditional automakers like Nissan, GM and Ford won’t be able to keep up with startups, which “don’t have the rigidity of mind.”...

  • He acknowledges that GM and Ford, in particular, have made progress

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