Carlos Ghosn on truth

Ghosn with Waseda students

Ghosn with Waseda students

Among the many gems Renault’s and Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn delivered this morning to the students of Tokyo’s prestigious Waseda University, this was the most precious:

“Everything we see is true. But we don’t see everything.”

This rings especially true during the current media frenzy.

True, Volkswagen was cheating. We can see that. What we don’t see: Who else is cheating? Transport & Environment named other cars where “the gap is so large T&E suspects that the car is able to detect when it is tested using a “defeat device” and artificially lowers emissions during the test.” T&E names the BMW X3 diesel as “9.9 times over the limit on the road,” the Opel Zafira Tourer 9.5 times, the Citroen C4 Picasso 5.1 times. The Zafira’s diesel engine is widely used throughout GM’s brands. Why were only Volkswagen and BMW cars used in the fateful real world test that set off the scandal?

T&E says that “12 out of 13 Euro 6 diesel cars failed to achieve the Euro 6 limit in tests conducted on the road.” Is anyone looking into who the 12 are?

Are we sure that the cheating is limited to diesel engines?

Ghosn said today that a true leader doesn’t need to be perfect, and doesn’t need to have all the answers. “If we think we are perfect, we’ll stop to learn.” A good leader, says Ghosn, goes around and seeks input from all involved.

If we want to find out the truth, we need to go and look for it. We can’t rely on truth seekers with the depth of a river barge.