Ghosn thinks Japan should defend carmakers from strong yen image

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn appealed to the Japanese government to help the automotive industry, saying that a strong yen is making Japan’s carmakers uncompetitive.

Ghosn said in Tokyo today that the largest threat to the auto industry supply chain is the strength of the yen and not natural disasters. He suggested Japan should follow the example of Switzerland and make adjustments to its currency.

“I’m not saying to give us an advantage. We just need to eliminate the handicap. We’re profiting in every market except in Japan,” Ghosn was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

The Japanese yen reached a post-World War II record last month, gaining more than 9 percent in the past six months. While that may be good news for the economy as a whole, for locar carmakers it’s a nightmare. The currency fluctuations have reduced Japanese automakers’ profit by a combined 330 billion yen in the first half, according to Japan’s automakers group.

The reason for this is an appreciation in the yen reduces the value of repatriated earnings and makes exports less competitive. The strong yen is threatening local manufacturing jobs, as automakers seek to increase their output overseas and reduce it at home.