First he was President Carlos - of the Nissan Motor Company. Soon it will be Sir Carlos Ghosn, Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) for his contribution to the economic development of Japan and Britain, Nissan officials said on Tuesday.

Under Ghosn's leadership, Nissan promoted operations at its plant in Sunderland, northeast England, which employs some 5,500 local workers and is due to export sporty, multi-purpose vehicles to Japan next year, Kyodo News noted.

In a statement, Ghosn reportedly said he is ''deeply honored'' by the recognition and expressed thanks to ''the hard work and achievements of our 5,500 employees and 220 dealers that support the Nissan business'' in Britain.

The news agency noted that the order Ghosn will receive is the highest honour the British Crown gives to a non-British citizen. The late Takashi Ishihara, former Nissan president and chairman, was also made a KBE. Nissan began building cars in Britain in 1986 during Ishihara's term as chairman.