September 21, 2011

Nissan CEO Puts Media Center On Air

September 21 - Yokohama - Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn officially opened the Global Media Center Wednesday, giving his expectations for its role ahead in an interview.

Q1. The Media Center has an intention to play a part in the brand elevation story that we do. Could you detail how that will factor into the “Power 88” Mid-Term Plan ahead?

CEO:

For people to understand and be engaged in “Power 88”, we need to tell them in a way which is entertaining, factual and makes sense of what is going on. What are the obstacles, what are the problems and what are the successes. We need it for our employees - and we have more than 250,000 of them, but we need it also for our stakeholders and we need it for the public.

The importance of the Media Center is as a place where we can write stories, tell what’s going on in a way that is always extremely factual, because you have the huge advantage over everybody else, as you have access to anybody, you can go before events because you know they are taking place.

And because we have a lot of professional journalists joining the Media Center, we are going to tell the story exactly the way people are used to reading them in the newspaper or seeing them on TV stations. I am really, extremely hopeful and confident that the Media Center, with all the professional people joining it, is going to be able to write stories, take pictures, have videos, that will be at the level of any outside media organization, but with the huge advantage of being internal and being able to access everybody, and know exactly what is going on.

This is not about building something, which is going to distort the facts or present them in a way that is very selective. It’s about telling the story the way they are but putting them within the context of “Power 88”.

Q2. Engagement with the media has been a key factor of your tenure. Could you tell us when thinking about Nissan or the auto industry specifically, what could the media do better to tell that story?

CEO:

Today what we see in the media is the fact that the media wants scoops, they are tweaking the story, they are trying to attract people, and they want to sell. So they are going for the extreme elements in order to attract the attention.

In a certain way we end up not understanding what is going on at the level of the country, or what’s going on at the level of companies.

The advantage of the Media Center is that you can write interesting stories without having to tweak it, without going for the artificial scoop, or for things that are not meaningful but you are going to put it ahead only because you don’t have enough substance.

Everything that we are seeing in the media, which are the limitations of how influential the media is going to be, you (Media Center) are going to be able to correct, because you can give the story in a way that is very objective, but because you have this huge access internally and you have the knowledge of the environment in which these stories are taking place, you are going to make them extremely compelling, extremely interesting, and in a certain way impactful without tweaking them.

Q3. Some buzz issues haven’t changed that much since the 1990s - yen strength, economic turmoil and auto industry alliances. Can you tell us how you see these areas ahead?

CEO:

The challenges that we are facing are always going to be the same, what’s going to be different is the way companies are responding to them - how the actors are responding to them.

How are we are responding today to the challenge of “endaka”, the strength of the yen. How are we are responding today to the economic turmoil, which is taking completely different shapes - more financial than economic. How we are responding to the power supply problem. How we are responding to the environmental challenge.

So, these challenges are going to continue, (and) what’s going to change is how Nissan responds to it, or how other actors respond to it.

What I am expecting from the Media Center is not so much to talk about these challenges, because they are part of our environment and people are going to hear about them, but how the company is responding to these challenges.

Not only pointing to the successes but also pointing to the things which have not been successes, and how can we learn from them and how are we going to react in order to make the second response a better one.