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Yoshifumi Tsuji, chairman of Nissan Motor Co., said on Thursday that Nissan management’s failure to consider the “power of money” led to the capital participation deal with Renault SA of France.

Nissan has about 2 trillion yen in interest-bearing liabilities, and the large amount of debt is one of the reasons driving the automaker into the arms of a foreign partner.

“Until few years ago, Japanese corporate management could run companies while having a large amount of interest-bearing liabilities. It became very clear that we are no longer in such circumstances. Nissan management overlooked the (factor of) interest-bearing liabilities,” Tsuji told a regular press conference of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Tsuji is also chairman of the association.

Addressing future demand for auto vehicles, JAMA estimates domestic demand for four-wheel vehicles in fiscal 1999, including buses and trucks, will rise to 6.04 million units, up 2.9 percent from the current business year that ends March 31.

Out of total demand in fiscal 1999, demand for passenger cars is projected to reach 4.25 million units, up 2.7 percent from the current business year, as the economy is expected to pick up, Tsuji said.

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