Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week, ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn pulls a sneak and flees to Lebanon to escape persecution, Genesis reveals first images and some early info on the GV80, their first SUV, Ford announces Mach-E First Edition reservations are full, and your automotive news!

Ex-Nissan CEO is Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone

Source: Autoweek

So this is how we’re starting the year, eh? Alrighty then.

Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance who has been facing high profile financial misconduct charges in Japan, announced completely out of the blue that he has fled to Lebanon. He was arrested in November 2018 for allegedly under reporting his income and improperly using company assets. Up until this week, Ghosn was on house arrest in Japan after being released on bail. He wasn’t allowed outside of the country and each automaker he was heading voted to remove him from the board. He didn’t even have his passport – that was held by his legal team, who was just as stunned at this as we all are. Yet somehow Ghosn was snuck out of a heavily secured house and onto a private jet and gleefully told the world “lol I’m in Lebanon now”.

As for how, a leading theory suggests he escaped while hidden in a large musical instrument case and called on his numerous connections to ensure nobody asked questions along the way. But there are a few other crazy theories that are being speculated as well. To tell the truth, we just don’t know for sure. Ghosn reportedly didn’t even have internet access while on house arrest, so someone certainly helped.

To answer the pressing question of “why”, Ghosn said in a statement obtained by that he fled to “no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed”, adding that he escaped “injustice and personal persecution”. He will also be able to “finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week”. The choice of Lebanon is not random either. He and his wife have citizenship and a home in Lebanon, and most importantly, there is no extradition treaty between Lebanon and Japan. That doesn’t mean he’s completely safe there however, as Interpol just issued a Red Notice for the decade’s first new international fugitive. An Interpol Red Notice is not an arrest warrant, rather a request for law enforcement agencies to arrest on behalf of a member country – Japan. This development just broke as of writing so it’s not known if Lebanese authorities will cooperate.

Anyway, there you have it, the most bizarre start to the new year I think this site has ever seen. We’ll stay on this story because we’re all just as curious about it as you are.

[Sources: AutoweekLA TimesReuters]

Genesis Releases First Images of GV80

GV80

Now for normal car news from a company whose ex-CEO isn’t an international fugitive, Genesis has released some images of their first SUV, the GV80. The upcoming fourth model in the family is set to launch globally throughout the year and will focus on versatility, the best tech Genesis has to offer, and living up to the “Athletic Elegance” motto that Genesis lives by.

GV80

Genesis styling cues like the quad LED headlamps and the crest grille will help it fit right in with the rest of the lineup and stand out from the millions of other luxury SUVs clogging up our parking lots. The interior focuses on “the beauty of open space” with minimalist details and a commanding driving position surrounded by high mounted control surfaces. Early details they’re willing to reveal include confirmation of a new rear-wheel-drive architecture (with AWD available) and an available third row. We’ll know more when it’s revealed in full soon enough.

[Source: Genesis]

Not-a-Mustang Mach-E First Edition Reservations are Full

All-New Mustang Mach-E

Ford’s Not-a-Mustang Mach-E has gotten popular long before it even hits the road. The First Edition Mach-Es that were open for reservations immediately after its reveal a few months ago has sold out. No numbers have been released which confirm exactly how many units that equals, but Ford wouldn’t have stopped at a low number for something like this. Those who missed the bandwagon can still reserve a Premium or Not-a-GT Mach-E though, probably until they finally start building them later this year. Fun fact: more than a quarter of all reservations are coming from California.

[Source: Ford]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.