As part of the reforms under new owner Renault-Nissan Alliance, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has since adopted English for all meetings involving executive officers and senior officials.
According to a report by Japan’s Nikkei on Mitsubishi Motor’s extraordinary shareholders meeting in Tokyo today, the company has adopted English in all high level meetings since November.
Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Nissan Motor has been appointed as Chairman of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation while Nissan’s Chief Performance Officer Trevor Mann now serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Mitsubishi Motors effective 1-November 2016.
The move to adopt English as the working language is not surprising as Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., which now owns 34 percent of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, have adopted English since it became part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance under Carlos Ghosn’s leadership.
In his book ‘Shift – Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival,’ Carlos Ghosn explained, “I’ve got no cultural predisposition to favour English. All my education was in French and French is still the language I speak best. But we chose English because we had to be objective and acknowledge that when a Chinese person gets together with a German, a Frenchman, an American, and a Japanese, there’s not much chance that they’re going to speak French, or Chinese, or anything other than English. Learning English isn’t a cultural notion. It’s like buying a software package to manage your e-mail. You download it into your computer because you can’t communicate without it. We’ve made English an everyday language. It was a management decision – we gave ourselves a tool to help us communicate with people who work for the same company but come from different cultures.”
Nissan and Mitsubishi are not the only Japanese companies adopting English. Last year, Honda made English as its official language and by 2020, all senior executives must pass English proficiency test before they are considered for promotions.