Nissan Calls For A Tow

Once a paragon of Japan's industrial might, Nissan is a pauper, a vivid symbol of what's gone awry in a country that could do no wrong

In Japan, putting your company on the acquisition block is so shameful that the expression for it--miuri--means "selling your body." So it must have been excruciating last month for Yoshikazu Hanawa, president of Nissan Motor Co., to publicly offer for sale a controlling interest in Japan's second largest automaker. What must have been even more humiliating is that when Nissan's suitors looked under the hood, they became even less interested in this clunker, with its $22 billion in debt and a lineup of flashless cars. The word around the car industry is that the $49 billion company ought to be left...

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