Indicted ex-Nissan Chairman Ghosn leaves Japan for Lebanon

Indicted former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has surfaced in Lebanon, despite being under strict bail conditions not to leave Japan as he awaits trial there on charges of financial misconduct during his time at the helm of the automaker.

It is unclear when and how Ghosn left Japan. But a person familiar with the matter confirmed Ghosn’s arrival in Lebanon, where he has citizenship.

The person could not say whether Ghosn, 65, has taken flight from Japan, or possibly struck a deal with local authorities. The terms of Ghosn’s bail in Japan have kept him under tight surveillance by the Tokyo prosecutor’s office.

The Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the matter saying Ghosn had fled Japan, arriving in Lebanon on Monday. One unidentified person told the newspaper Ghosn did not believe he would get a fair trial there and was “tired of being an industrial political hostage.”

The Financial Times said Ghosn was no longer under house arrest, but said it was not clear whether he had escaped or a deal had been reached.

Ghosn’s attorney did not have an immediate comment.

Ghosn was arrested just over a year ago in Tokyo on allegations of financial improprieties while chairman of Nissan. He has been indicted on four counts in Japan. The first two are charges of failing to disclose tens of millions of dollars in deferred compensation. The two other counts are breach of trust charges that accuse Ghosn of diverting company money for personal gain.

Ghosn, who denies the entire slate of charges, faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 150 million yen ($1.4 million) if convicted on all four counts.

Ghosn’s lawyers and his wife, Carole Ghosn, have expressed doubt that the former boss of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance would get a fair trial in Japan. Although an official trial date had not yet been set, the case wasn’t expected to head to court until the spring of 2020.

Ghosn’s attorney in Japan argues that prosecutors illegally conspired with Nissan executives and government officials to frame Ghosn and remove him from power in order to prevent a full merger of Nissan with French alliance partner Renault.

In the process, Ghosn’s lawyers have said, prosecutors have also violated Ghosn’s rights by engaging in such activities as illegal evidence collection and denying his right to a speedy trial.

The Tokyo prosecutor’s office has denied inappropriate handling of evidence.

Reuters contributed to this report

Photos of the year: Miscellany

Workers install a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had to keep his Cybertruck reveal going after two windows shattered during a demonstration that was intended to prove the electric pickup’s durability.

Strikers picket GM plants in Bowling Green, Ky., above, and Flint, Mich.

The last Chevrolet Cruze made its way through production in March, when General Motors’ Lordstown, Ohio, plant was idled.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s entourage traveled in a Mercedes-Benz SUV and two Maybachs for his meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Russia in April.

The last of more than 500,000 third-generation Volkswagen Beetles was built in Puebla, Mexico, in July, 21 years after Beetle production resumed in 1998.

Ford patented canopy-style windshield for the Mustang

Ford patented canopy-style windshield for the Mustang

Future Ford Mustangs might use a windshield that extends into the roof similar to the setup of the Tesla Model 3.

First noticed by eagle-eye Mach-E Club forum member, ReturnOfTheMack, and reported by CarAdvice, the patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on May 14, 2018 and published on Nov. 14, 2019.

Ford vehicle roof patent

Ford vehicle roof patent

The patent details what Ford calls a “vehicle roof bow” and describes a structural design that acts as a joint between the extended windshield and rear glass.

Ford’s design calls for the usual pair of side roof rails connected with front and rear bows or beams that slot into those rails via “fingers.” The concept outlines how the roof bows will transmit energy from the rails during a side impact crash. The joint between the two pieces of glass might be made of metal, according to the patent filing.

Ford vehicle roof patent

Ford vehicle roof patent

Ford vehicle roof patent

Ford vehicle roof patent

Ford vehicle roof patent

Ford vehicle roof patent

The vehicle depicted in the patent filing is the current-generation Ford Mustang, but that’s likely just for visual purposes. It’s unlikely such a design feature would be introduced on the current Mustang, which is near the end of its life cycle.

It’s possible the canopy-style windshield depicted in the patent could see the light of day on the next-generation Mustang or on the Mustang Mach-E, which will launch in 2020 as a 2021 model.

Adding more glass at the highest point of a vehicle hurts handling because it raises the center of gravity by placing more weight up high. The Mustang is a muscle car that has morphed in recent years into a true sports car. It’s unlikely the canopy-style windshield would see the light of day on a high-performance variant of the Blue Oval’s icon, but it makes sense to let the sun shine in on plusher trims. Just imagine this feature on a Mustang with the California Package.

The patent description is just structural. It does not mention how the extended windshield will block out the sun on a bright day.

A canopy-style windshield would provide a fighter-jet like driving experience. Could Ford call it the P51 option? Cue Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone.”

Ferrari On Ice: Daring Monza SP2 Owner Snow Drifts $2 Million Speedster


Rudolph the red nose reindeer would be jealous of the Ferrari Monza SP2, a stunning machine that seems unstoppable on icy roads.

The fact that it has no roof to protect that very expensive interior from nature’s elements, or friends, in this case – you’ll see what we’re talking about in one of the videos shared below, didn’t stop the owner of this limited production special from Maranello from having a lot of fun in Italy’s Giau Pass.

Video: If The Ferrari Monza SP1 And SP2 Don’t Set Your Heart Racing, Check Your Pulse

With a gentle push of the pedal and steady hands, Instagrammer PowerslideLover put on a stunning show in the Dolomites, unleashing a fraction of the jaw-dropping power available from the V12 engine, keeping it sideways for a few precious moments, all to the delight of those present, who captured the stunts on video.

Remind me, what’s special about the Ferrari Monza SP2?

Based on the same platform as the 812 Superfast, the Monza SP1 and SP2 made their public premiere at last year’s Paris Auto Show as the first two models in a series of bespoke cars Ferrari names the ‘Icona’ series.

The SP1 tips the scales 1,500 kg (3,307 lbs) dry, while adding a passenger seat in the SP2 bumps the weight by 20 kg (44 lbs). Both of them feature a ton (or so to speak) of carbon fiber in their construction and don’t come with a traditional windshield or roof.

If you’re brave enough, you could achieve the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds, identical to the 812 Superfast, and max out at a little over 300 km/h (186 mph). Powering them is a sonorous 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine that produces 810 PS (799 hp / 596 kW) and 719 Nm (530 lb-ft) of torque.

Ferrari is building 499 units and all of them have been spoken for, despite a  starting price of almost $2 million.

Dealer anniversaries

70 with Chevrolet

Jill Hattan, left, owner of Don Hattan Chevrolet in Wichita, Kan., receives a 70-year award from Neka Spears, Chevrolet zone manager.

50 with FCA

David Ellis, fourth from left, dealer principal of Glendale Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in California, receives a 50-year award from Jason Stoicevich, third from left, director of the FCA US California Business Center, and Jeffrey Eschenbach, right, sales manager of the business center. Also pictured are Evan Ellis, left, general manager of Alfa Romeo-Fiat of Glendale, and Jackson Ellis, general manager of Glendale Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram.

Citizenship

Len Stoler, chairman of Len Stoler Automotive Group, and his wife, Roslyn, have given $25 million to the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine is expected to open in 2023. The group has dealerships in Maryland in Owings Mills, Towson and Westminster and in New York on Long Island and in Queens. The stores sell the Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Hyundai, Porsche, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes brands.