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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Mitsubishi Teams With Nissan/Renault To Create A New Midsize Sedan


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    November 5, 2013

    In a surprise move, Mitsubishi has announced they are teaming up with Nissan-Renault to build two new sedans; a new midsize sedan that would be sold in the U.S. and Canada, and a compact sedan that will be sold globally. The partnership will also look new projects which include products, technology and manufacturing capacity.

    “Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have jointly benefited from several collaborations in the past, most recently the successful joint-venture on Kei cars in Japan. I welcome the direction being taken towards this broader cooperation, creating new opportunities for Renault in addition to further leveraging the productive relationship between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors," said President and CEO of Renault-Nissan, Carlos Ghosn.

    The two vehicles in question will be based on platforms from Renault. No timetable has been set as to when we'll see either vehicle.

    This isn't the first time that Nissan and Mitsubishi have teamed up. A couple years ago, the two automakers started a joint-venture company called NMKV to work on Kei cars for the Japanese marketplace. The first vehicles of this joint-venture, the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK wagon, went on sale this year.

    Galant Lattitude

    2013 Renault Latitude and 2013 Mitsubishi Galant. Could these two cars become one?

    Click Picture to Enlarge

    Source: Mitsubishi, Nissan/Renault

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected]or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    RENAULT-NISSAN ALLIANCE & MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION EXPLORE WIDE RANGING GLOBAL PRODUCT AND TECHNOLOGY COOPERATION

    New projects to drive global product coverage and capacity utilization

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands and TOKYO, Japan – The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced their joint intention to explore several new projects covering shared products, technologies and manufacturing capacity among the automakers. As a consequence, it has been agreed that the strategic cooperation between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors could be expanded across the broader Renault-Nissan Alliance.

    Between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, it is expected that the existing NMKV joint-venture company will be extended to co-develop a new small-segment car including a specific electric version that can be sold on a global basis. The basis for this product will be from a jointly developed “Kei car” platform of the type popular in the Japanese domestic market. Further details of all products, markets and manufacturing will be announced separately.

    The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation are also confirming their intention to share technologies and product assets related to electric vehicles and latest-generation platforms. Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors were among the first to pioneer the introduction of mass-marketed zero emission products.

    Based on the current direction of discussions between Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, it is firstly expected that two new sedan models would be launched under the Mitsubishi brand, based on vehicles from the Renault portfolio. Secondary and additional studies around other projects will then be considered.

    • The first sedan, to compete in the full-size D-segment markets of the United States and Canada and would be manufactured at the Renault-Samsung plant in Busan, South Korea.
    • The second sedan model would compete in the global C-segment. The manufacturing location for this product is under discussion.

    President and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn said: “Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have jointly benefited from several collaborations in the past, most recently the successful joint-venture on Kei cars in Japan. I welcome the direction being taken towards this broader cooperation, creating new opportunities for Renault in addition to further leveraging the productive relationship between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors."

    Osamu Masuko, President of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation commented: “As a result of the development of collaborative projects with Nissan Motor up to now, Mitsubishi Motors is pleased to work again with Nissan and now Renault towards achieving further collaborations. The new opportunities could be described as evidence that the ongoing collaborative projects between Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan have brought positive results, and Mitsubishi Motors hopes that any new collaborative projects with the Renault-Nissan Alliance would bring us further merits."

    Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have an existing joint-venture company called NMKV which was established in June 2011 for the purpose of co-developing a range of Kei cars for both brands. The first of these products – the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK wagon – went on sale in Japan this year. Both products are manufactured at the Mitsubishi Mizushima plant in Japan.

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    In it's existing state, I doubt Mitsubishi can survive, another auto company that will have to merge to survive but eventually I think will end up in the history books.

    I suspect we will have only 4-6 major brands by 2025 and many of the minor car players will either die off or get bought out and be niche models for the few major players.

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    I don't think selling rebadged Renault sedans is their way out. They need to do what made them good in the first place. They need a decent and lightweight Galant with interesting turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. They need a decent and lightweight Eclipse.

    For simplicity's sake, make a naturally aspirated 2.0 and a turbo 2.0 only.

    Offer AWD on both, as was done in the past.

    Keep both lightweight and nimble, as was done in the past.

    Prove they can do those two cars, and they may be worthy of remaining a viable company.

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    Mitsu seems to be in between a rock and a hard place..they have the oldest compact on the market (Lancer), had the oldest midsize (Galant) and it's gone now, no coupe, a very strange electric car, and a couple boring CUVs..

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    I honestly expected Mitsubishi to bow out before Suzuki. The Kizashi was such an excellent car, and even the SX4 and Grand Vitara were good vehicles despite their age. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, hasn't had a single exceptional vehicle besides their low-volume EVO for years. The Galant had been worst in its class for a long time, the Eclipse never regained the magic it had in the 90's, the Lancer was an also-ran, the Outlander was in-betweener that was okay in most regards and perhaps their single best vehicle in recent years, but it never caught on.

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