TOKYO — To hear Carlos Ghosn tell it, Nissan Motor Co. has gone down the tubes ever since he handed the reins to his "backstabbing" understudy Hiroto Saikawa nearly two years ago.
In a video message recorded the day before he was sent back to jail this month after his fourth arrest, Ghosn blasted Nissan for "absolutely mediocre" performance. The former chairman cited three profit warnings in recent years, declining share price, lack of leadership and "many scandals."
"For somebody like me, it's sickening," Ghosn said, decrying Nissan's current state.
His broadside against the Japanese automaker he saved from near bankruptcy in 1999 draws a new battle line in the narrative over his own downfall as the high-flying visionary who hammered the Renault-Nissan alliance into the world's largest auto group.
For Ghosn, now facing three indictments accusing him of financial misconduct during his time at Nissan, the fight is about restoring his legacy, not just proving his innocence.