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Nissan Pays Respects To Former President

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Yoshikazu Hanawa

In December of last year, former president of the Nissan Motor Co Yoshikazu Hanawa passed away at the age of 81. The part of his legacy he will probably be most remembered for is the formation of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 1999 as the automaker struggled to be successful.

While the Renault-Nissan Alliance was very unpopular in Japan at the time it was formed (imagine the backlash in America if Ford was sold to Toyota), Hanawa’s actions probably saved the country’s second largest automaker from financial ruin and eventual closure.

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To say goodbye to its former president, Nissan mounted a memorial service this week to allow employees (current and former), government representatives, and business partners an opportunity to pay respects to his memory and his widow.

According to Automotive News, current CEO Carlos Ghosn (who was brought to Japan as a result of the Nissan sale to Renault) was the first to visit the life-size picture of Hanawa and lay flowers. The portrait was surrounded by masses of white lilies and blue delphiniums, and the pile of flowers continued to grow as about 1,600 mourners filed past. After pausing at the portrait, attendees were received by Hanawa’s widow, one of his sons, and Ghosn himself.

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In a statement, Ghosn said “Hanawa-san was an important part of the Nissan family and at the heart of the Alliance foundation. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work with him and learn from him.”

News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)