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Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida Targets To Recover From A Profit Slump

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Nissan's new CEO Makoto Uchida on Monday vowed to turn around the auto giant and regain customer trust, as the company tries to recover from its fall after the arrest of former chief Carlos Ghosn last year.

Uchida, who formally took over the reins at Nissan on December 1, held his first news conference as CEO on Monday at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters.

Uchida faces a huge mountain-like challenges before him, including profit slump, damaged relations with French alliance partner Renault SA and corporate governance.

"I say this honestly. Nissan is in a very difficult situation," said Uchida.

Besides Uchida, Nissan has two other new leaders. Former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. COO Ashwani Gupta has been appointed COO, and Jun Seki, who was senior vice president at Nissan, is now vice COO.

Renault holds a 43.4% stake in Nissan after it helped the Japanese automaker from bankruptcy two decades ago.

"Closer capital ties with Renault are not a focus in the short term," Uchida told reporters.

"The alliance has to benefit each of its partners in terms of revenue and profit," he said. "We need to re-evaluate what has worked and what hasn't worked in the alliance in the past few years."

Ghosn was arrested last year on various financial misconduct charges. Ghosn has denied all wrongdoing.

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