Finally, a chance for Ghosn to speak about his favorite topic: The value of the yen. Two years ago in Kyushu, Ghosn said that its valuation against the dollar and other major currencies was a crime against nature, a perversion. Back then, you got 77 yen to the dollar, and I assure you that 76 yen buy next to nothing. Ghosn called a high. The rise of the deviant was arrested. In the following year, the yen turned around, fainthearted first, then, with honest Abe getting behind the wheel in Japan, a dollar now buys 100 yen.
Ghosn does not want to hear talk of a “low “ yen.
“The yen is in neutral territory. The headwinds have been removed. But there are no tailwinds. I don’t want anybody to think that we are getting tailwinds from the yen. Before the financial crisis of 2008, the yen was on average at 110. But 100 yen is better than where we were at 76.”
One yen more to the dollar helps Nissan’s books to the tune of $150 million, but Ghosn warns that it won’t all translate into profits. All Japanese manufacturers, competing with Nissan, gain from a lower yen. “Part of the lower yen goes to the consumer,” says Ghosn. Meaning that it can be invested into lower prices, or better value.