Ghosn Issues Prompt Nissan to Pull Planned LA Announcement
Remember the Domino Theory. It’s where one thing happening affects other things happening or being planned. It’s a thing. In this case, Nissan has decided to delay the introduction of the Long Range Leaf with a bigger battery that it promised in 2017.
The reason? The automaker didn’t want the scandal surrounding Nissan (now ex) Chairman Carlos Ghosn to overshadow an important product unveiling, potentially keeping the new Leaf from receiving the media coverage it merits.
Last week, Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo, along with Nissan Director Greg Kelly, for allegedly reporting compensation amounts in a Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were substantially less than the actual amount in order to reduce the disclosed amount of compensation.
Despite Ghosn being largely credited for the revival of the Nissan brand and seen as a hero, the company has already begun the process of removing both Ghosn and Kelly:
“As the misconduct uncovered through our internal investigation constitutes clear violations of the duty of care as directors, Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as Chairman and Representative Director. Saikawa will also propose the removal of Greg Kelly from his position as Representative Director.”
A Shift of Focus
What has been reported so far is that the new Leaf will receive a larger 60 kWh battery pack, which should be good for 225 miles of range (this is up from the current Leaf’s 40 kWh battery which is only capable of about 150 miles), and should allow fast charging.
This bump in battery power will put the Leaf in direct competition with the Chevy Bolt and define the Leaf as more than just a city runabout. Pricing could be similar as well, as it has been reported that the 60 kWh Leaf could start at around $36,000.
It is also rumored that the 60 kWh Leaf will use LG Chem battery cells instead of Nissan’s own cells, and that it will finally come with an active battery temperature management system.
While it is disappointing that the unveiling of the new Leaf has been delayed, it is unlikely that the actual launch date of the vehicle will be changed. Customers should still take delivery on time.