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Future Nissan CEO makes surprise press appearance
Incoming Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida briefly meets media on eve of Tokyo Show
23 Oct 2019
By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in TOKYO
INCOMING Nissan Motor Company CEO Makoto Uchida made a surprise informal appearance at the brand’s traditional motor-show eve event in Tokyo, promising closer ties and transparency with the global media as the company embarks on new mobility, design and electrification chapters in the new decade.
To take up the position from January 1, 2020, the outgoing head of Nissan’s China operations and 16-year company veteran added he would not attend the Tokyo Motor Show press day since he is still in his present role, but wanted the world media to know that his mind is already on the task at hand.
“I wanted to welcome all of the media tonight… and say thank you for attending,” he told the press at Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Tokyo on Tuesday evening. “I look forward to speaking to all of you soon.”
The visit comes hot on the heels of a private speech that Mr Uchida made to employees late last week on the state of Nissan, saying that he is determined to reverse falling sales and revenues after a tumultuous 12 months, which has seen the removal of former chairman Carlos Ghosn and, more recently, the resignation of CEO Hiroto Saikawa in September.
"Nissan is on the right path for recovery ... although it might be a gradual process,” he told workers in an internal video message on Friday, October 18, which was then seen by news agency Reuters, as reported by Automotive News Europe.
“However, please understand that I cannot do it alone… the most important thing right now is to have trust and full contribution from each one of you.”
Mr Uchida’s role was announced earlier this month, joining Mitsubishi Motors executive Ashwani Gupta as chief operating officer and Jun Seki as vice COO.
The Nissan press event was to announce the new livery for the next season of Nissan’s Formula E all-electric single-seater racing championship vehicle, which kicks off on November 22 in Saudi Arabia.
The design and colour schemes are said to be inspired by ‘Japan’ in general and the kimono cultural garment in particular.
Nissan, the only Japanese car-maker signed up for Formula E, only joined up for the 2018/19 season, which ended in July, and was won by Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne, driving for the winning team, DS Techeetah of China.
Meanwhile, Nissan also used the pre-show event to announce the ‘Nissan Pavilion’ interactive venue in Yokohama – a 10,000 square-metre venue allowing vehicle buyers, general visitors and the media to experience current and future technologies pertaining to the brand.
To run for four months from next June, it will also “host global new-vehicle announcements” for the brand over that period.
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