While nowhere near as bad as top officials in government owned companies paying themselves big bonuses based on “projected earnings”, the business community was still surprised to hear that Nissan Motor Co will pay its directors almost four times more than their counterparts in Toyota and three times more than Honda directors for the fiscal year that ended in March.

Nissan wants to pay its 12 directors including CEO Carlos Ghosn an average of 141 million yen ($1.5 million). Toyota on the other hand aims to pay an average of 37.5 million yen to its 38 directors, while Honda will pay its 21 directors an average of 48.3 million yen. However, Nissan’s net income in the fiscal year was 42.4 billion yen, compared with 209.5 billion yen at Toyota and 268.4 billion at Honda.

Not included in those figures are stock options that the 38 directors from Toyota will be getting. However, this will only add up to 593 million yen, which is an average of 15.6 million yen per director. Honda bosses are also set to get a 15 million yen average bonus. All three companies will seek approval for the pay plans at their respective shareholder meetings later this month.

Analysts say that Nissan’s high remuneration package could be due to a number of factors, one of them being the Yokohama based carmaker’s rapid recovery from a loss a year earlier. Compared to its rivals, Nissan also has a more international corporate culture thanks to its alliance with Renault, according to Satoru Takada of TIW Inc.

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