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The Latest: Renault board to meet after Ghosn arrest

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Posted: Monday, November 19, 2018 9:07 am | Updated: 9:36 am, Mon Nov 19, 2018.

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Nissan Motor Co.'s chairman Carlos Ghosn and allegations he underreported income. (all times local):

12:05 a.m.

French carmaker Renault says it will defend its interests within its alliance with Nissan after the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who spearheaded their union and is Renault's CEO.

Renault said in a statement Monday that its board will hold an emergency meeting "shortly."

Renault's shares dived on the news of Ghosn's troubles. Nissan Motor Co. announced Ghosn, who is their chairman, was arrested Monday and will be dismissed after he allegedly under-reported his income and engaged in other misconduct.

The French company's statement says Renault's lead independent director and its two committee chairs "have acknowledged" Nissan's announcement and expressed "their dedication to the defense of Renault's interest in the alliance."

It's unclear how Nissan's announcement will affect Renault and the structure of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

French authorities would not comment Monday on whether similar investigations are under way into Ghosn's remuneration by Renault.

———

10:30 p.m.

Nissan Motor Co. CEO Hiroto Saikawa says the arrest of the Japanese automaker's chairman, Carlos Ghosn, shows power was too concentrated in one person.

Saikawa apologized profusely for the discovery that Ghosn allegedly engaged in serious financial misconduct. He was speaking to reporters at a late-night news conference Tuesday at the company's headquarters in Yokohama.

He said that "Beyond being sorry I feel great disappointment, frustration, despair, indignation and resentment."

Saikawa said the company's board will meet Thursday to vote on a proposal to have Ghosn dismissed. He said the company's management would focus on minimizing the impact of the shakeup on the company and its employees.

The company also plans to reduce its reliance on a single leading executive.

———

10 p.m.

A union official at carmaker Renault is welcoming a Japanese investigation into remuneration of CEO Carlos Ghosn and denouncing exorbitant executive pay.

Ali Kaya, who heads the CGT union at a Renault factory in Flins outside Paris, said "the most shocking thing is that these people were not arrested well before this."

He lamented that the public has grown inured to "astronomical sums" paid to Ghosn and other executives. The powerful, hard-left CGT has long campaigned to cap executive pay.

Nissan Motor Co. announced earlier that Ghosn is to be dismissed after the company said an internal investigation found he under-reported his income by millions of dollars.

It's unclear how the announcement affects Ghosn's leadership of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

Renault and the French government are refusing to comment. The French government owns 15 percent of Renault.

———

9:50 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says France wants to ensure stability at the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi car-making alliance amid misconduct allegations against its powerful Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

The French state owns 15 percent of Renault, and Macron said the government "will be extremely vigilant about the stability of the alliance." He also promised to watch out for Renault workers.

Macron spoke to journalists during a visit to Belgium soon after Nissan Motor Co. announced that Ghosn would be dismissed because an internal investigation found he had under-reported his income by millions of dollars and engaged in other "significant misconduct."

Macron and Ghosn visited a Renault plant together in northeast France earlier this month.

Ghosn's troubles pose questions for the future of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which he spearheaded.

———

8 p.m.

Japan's NHK public television says Tokyo district prosecutors have arrested Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on suspicion he violated financial instruments and exchange law and under-reported his income.

The report of his arrest just more than an hour after Nissan announced that its internal investigation found that he underreported his income.

The Japanese automaker said he was to be dismissed. It said the investigation found other misconduct by Ghosn, including the personal use of company assets.

The Tokyo District Prosecutors' Office did not respond to the phone.

———

7:50 p.m.

Shares in European carmaker Renault are diving after alliance partner Nissan announced that Chairman Carlos Ghosn had been under-reporting his income and will be dismissed.

Ghosn has been a huge figure in the global auto industry for years. He helped turn around both companies and push them into electric cars. Ghosn is chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and CEO of Renault.

Renault's France headquarters would not comment on the Nissan announcement Monday. The company's shares fell 14 percent by late morning in European trading, to 55.61 euros.

The news of Ghosn's problems surfaced after Japan's financial markets closed Monday.

———

7:10 p.m.

Nissan Motor Co. says an internal investigation found that its chairman, Carlos Ghosn, has underreported his income. The Japanese automaker said he will be dismissed.

Nissan said an investigation based on a whistleblower report found Ghosn had falsified reports on his compensation "over many years."

It said the investigation found other misconduct by Ghosn, including the personal use of company assets.

Nissan said it had provided information to prosecutors and was cooperating with their investigation.

———

6:15 p.m.

Japanese media say Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor Co. chairman, is being questioned by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion he falsified his financial reports.

Nissan said Monday it was looking into the reports, while prosecutors declined comment.

The Asahi newspaper said Ghosn submitted voluntarily to questioning about suspected violations of financial and exchange regulations. The national broadcaster NHK and Kyodo carried similar reports.

Asahi said Ghosn is suspected of failing to report hundreds of millions of yen (millions of dollars) in income.

Nissan, based in Yokohama, Japan, said it was checking into the reports.

Brazilian-born Ghosn, sent in by alliance partner Renault SA of France, has led a dramatic turnaround at Nissan over the last two decades, rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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