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Redesigning Nissan (A): Carlos Ghosn Takes Charge

Published 01 Feb 2003
Reference 5095
Topic Strategy
Industry Automotive
Region Global
Length 12 page(s)
Language English
Prizes & Awards

2005 The Case Centre Best-selling Case


This is the first of a two-case series. When Renault sent Carlos Ghosn to turnaround its alliance partner Nissan, observers were sceptical of his chances. After soliciting recommendations from the employees, he unveiled a three-year plan involving plant closures, job cuts, and a refocus on design. Within two years, the company had achieved a dramatic recovery, posting record profits and proposing a dazzling array of new models. Note that there are two versions of the case: 'Redesigning Nissan (A) & (B)' covers the dynamics of taking charge (case A) and the process of leading change (case B). There is also a combined and condensed version of the cases: 'Nissan's U-Turn: 1999-2001', for instructors wishing to cover the material in a single session.

Teaching objectives

The cases raise a number of themes to do with how an incoming leader establishes credibility, builds a case for painful change, gathers support, provides constant and consistent communication, sells growth as well as cuts, enforces accountability, measures progress, and sustains momentum for change.

  • Automobile
  • Cars
  • Alliance
  • Transformation
  • Turnaround
  • Restructuring
  • Change
  • Revival
  • Strategy
  • Vision
  • Leadership
  • Cost cutting
  • Plant closures
  • Empowerment
  • Trust
  • Growth
  • Fair process
  • Credibility
  • Cultural differences
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Product development
  • Productivity
  • Design
  • Purchasing.