Honda website
Honda website

DECEMBER 3, 2004

Le Costcutter cuts production

Carlos Ghosn, the man who earned the nickname of "Le Costcutter" because of his ruthless ability to slash costs, will take the top job at Renault next year. But his policies at Nissan are now beginning to hurt the Japanese car maker.

The company, which Ghosn has led in recent years, has announced that it will have to cut its production by 15,000 cars in March next year - in addition to the 25,000 vehicles which could not be built this year - because the company cannot get enough steel. Nissan is suffering from the rising demand for steel in China, where the car industry in booming, and from the fact that Ghosn cancelled all long-term contracts with Japanese steelmakers when he was cutting back on Nissan's costs.

Toyota, Honda and Mazda are not having the same difficulties.

Ghosn has until enjoyed a reputation of infallibility and the steel problem will not be something he wants highlighted just before he arrives in the chairman's office at Renault headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt.