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Found 232 results

  1. Only a few months after Nissan announced it would buy a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, the deal is now official. Nissan will pay 237 billion yen (about $2.29 billion) to purchase a 34 percent stake into Mitsubishi. As part of this deal, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become Chairman of the Board. Osamu Masuko will remain Mitsubishi Motors CEO and President. "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder. As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance," said Masuko in a statement. With Ghosn becoming chairman at a third company (he also holds the role at Nissan and Renault), he has appointed Nissan Vice Chairman and Chief Competition Officer Hiroto Saikawa as his co-CEO at Nissan. The two companies are planning to collaborate on joint purchasing, localization, factory sharing, and using common vehicle platforms. Ghosn says this will help bring savings totaling $231 million next year and rising the year after. "We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust. This is a priority as we pursue the synergies and growth potential of our enlarged relationship," said Ghosn. Source: Mitsubishi Motors, Automotive News (Subscription Required) Press Release is on Page 2 Mitsubishi Motors Joins Renault-Nissan Alliance MMC to receive strategic, operational and management support from Nissan Synergy benefits to enhance MMC profit margins and earnings per share Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chairman and CEO, named chairman-elect of MMC New role created of Director for Global Risk Control Tokyo , October 20 , 2016 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announces that Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has become its largest shareholder after completing the purchase of 34% of MMC-issued stock for 237 billion JPY. As part of Nissan's strategic investment, MMC will become a full member of the 17-year strong global alliance between Nissan and Renault – paving the way for synergies to enhance profit margins and earnings per share. Nissan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has been nominated to become chairman of the Board. Ghosn will be joined by three other Nissan nominated directors, including Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan's former executive vice president of research and development, who joined MMC earlier this year as head of development. The other nominees are Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan chief sustainability officer and head of global external affairs, and Hiroshi Karube, Nissan global controller and global asset manager. MMC President and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko requested that Nissan also provide a senior executive to join the company's executive committee to bolster MMC's management. Trevor Mann, currently Chief Performance Officer of Nissan, will become Chief Operating Officer of MMC. "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder," said Masuko. "As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance." MMC will appoint a new role of director for global risk control to report directly to the chief executive officer, who will oversee compliance and risk control. This director will regularly report to the board on moves to enhance governance at MMC. The three largest institutional shareholders in MMC – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ – have welcomed Nissan's investment and pledged their support for its board nominees. Moving forward, these three Mitsubishi institutional shareholders together with Nissan will maintain a more than 51 percent of the share capital. Nissan and MMC will begin cooperating on a wide-ranging synergy program, building on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies. The two companies have identified a number of valuable synergies in areas including: - Joint purchasing cost-reduction - Deeper localization in operations around the world - Joint plant utilization - Common vehicle platforms - Technology sharing - Cooperation in emerging and developed markets; and - The use of the Nissan Sales Finance Company to serve MMC customers in any market where mutually beneficial. The partnership is expected to generate significant recurring synergies for MMC, equivalent to a 1 percentage point increase in operating profit margin in fiscal year 2017, 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2018, and more than 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2019. The projected synergies are also forecasted to enhance MMC earnings per share in fiscal year 2017 by 12 yen per share, and by 20 yen per share in fiscal year 2018. Ghosn said: "The expanded Alliance will be one of the largest automotive groups in the world, with annual sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016. The addition of Mitsubishi Motors will build on the entrepreneurial spirit and management cooperation that has characterized our alliance with Renault for 17 years. I am confident this will benefit all stakeholders."
  2. Only a few months after Nissan announced it would buy a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, the deal is now official. Nissan will pay 237 billion yen (about $2.29 billion) to purchase a 34 percent stake into Mitsubishi. As part of this deal, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become Chairman of the Board. Osamu Masuko will remain Mitsubishi Motors CEO and President. "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder. As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance," said Masuko in a statement. With Ghosn becoming chairman at a third company (he also holds the role at Nissan and Renault), he has appointed Nissan Vice Chairman and Chief Competition Officer Hiroto Saikawa as his co-CEO at Nissan. The two companies are planning to collaborate on joint purchasing, localization, factory sharing, and using common vehicle platforms. Ghosn says this will help bring savings totaling $231 million next year and rising the year after. "We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust. This is a priority as we pursue the synergies and growth potential of our enlarged relationship," said Ghosn. Source: Mitsubishi Motors, Automotive News (Subscription Required) Press Release is on Page 2 Mitsubishi Motors Joins Renault-Nissan Alliance MMC to receive strategic, operational and management support from Nissan Synergy benefits to enhance MMC profit margins and earnings per share Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chairman and CEO, named chairman-elect of MMC New role created of Director for Global Risk Control Tokyo , October 20 , 2016 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announces that Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has become its largest shareholder after completing the purchase of 34% of MMC-issued stock for 237 billion JPY. As part of Nissan's strategic investment, MMC will become a full member of the 17-year strong global alliance between Nissan and Renault – paving the way for synergies to enhance profit margins and earnings per share. Nissan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has been nominated to become chairman of the Board. Ghosn will be joined by three other Nissan nominated directors, including Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan's former executive vice president of research and development, who joined MMC earlier this year as head of development. The other nominees are Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan chief sustainability officer and head of global external affairs, and Hiroshi Karube, Nissan global controller and global asset manager. MMC President and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko requested that Nissan also provide a senior executive to join the company's executive committee to bolster MMC's management. Trevor Mann, currently Chief Performance Officer of Nissan, will become Chief Operating Officer of MMC. "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder," said Masuko. "As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance." MMC will appoint a new role of director for global risk control to report directly to the chief executive officer, who will oversee compliance and risk control. This director will regularly report to the board on moves to enhance governance at MMC. The three largest institutional shareholders in MMC – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ – have welcomed Nissan's investment and pledged their support for its board nominees. Moving forward, these three Mitsubishi institutional shareholders together with Nissan will maintain a more than 51 percent of the share capital. Nissan and MMC will begin cooperating on a wide-ranging synergy program, building on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies. The two companies have identified a number of valuable synergies in areas including: - Joint purchasing cost-reduction - Deeper localization in operations around the world - Joint plant utilization - Common vehicle platforms - Technology sharing - Cooperation in emerging and developed markets; and - The use of the Nissan Sales Finance Company to serve MMC customers in any market where mutually beneficial. The partnership is expected to generate significant recurring synergies for MMC, equivalent to a 1 percentage point increase in operating profit margin in fiscal year 2017, 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2018, and more than 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2019. The projected synergies are also forecasted to enhance MMC earnings per share in fiscal year 2017 by 12 yen per share, and by 20 yen per share in fiscal year 2018. Ghosn said: "The expanded Alliance will be one of the largest automotive groups in the world, with annual sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016. The addition of Mitsubishi Motors will build on the entrepreneurial spirit and management cooperation that has characterized our alliance with Renault for 17 years. I am confident this will benefit all stakeholders." View full article
  3. Mitsubishi Motors Reports September Sales CYPRESS, Calif., Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today reported September 2016 sales of 7,191 down 4.8 percent from September of 2015. Sales for the year remain up at 1.5 percent over the previous year. September YTD 2016 2015 2016 2015 i-MiEV 17 3 82 93 Mirage 1756 1348 17750 17971 Lancer 923 1116 11539 14270 Outlander Sport 2570 3140 25518 27561 Outlander 1925 1949 19462 13362 Total 7191 7556 74351 73257
  4. Mitsubishi's fuel economy mess in Japan isn't getting any better. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Japanese automaker continued to improperly test the fuel economy of their vehicles a month after admitting that it had manipulated fuel economy figures on their Kei cars. This accusation comes from a new report from Japan's transport ministry. “We cannot help but feel concerned that these points haven’t been improved,” said Naoki Fujii, head of the road transport bureau at the ministry. Japan's transport ministry requires the country's automakers to perform five road tests and take the average of median values. In their report, the ministry explained to Mitsubishi workers how to properly do the test. But workers continued to manipulate the tests. Some examples listed in the report include, Workers took the average of the best mileage numbers, not the median numbers of the five tests Mitsubishi didn't tell workers doing the tests that you were only to do five Mitsubishi Motors chief executive Osamu Masuko said they are taking the continued problems seriously and laid blame at the “lack of capability” at the division responsible for the testing. Of course, this latest allegation puts some questions to Nissan planned acquisition of a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors. The deal - worth $2.2 billion - was expected to be finalized by the end of October. Now, it has been pushed back to the end of the year. Nissan's due diligence investigation is taking longer than expected. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  5. Mitsubishi's fuel economy mess in Japan isn't getting any better. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Japanese automaker continued to improperly test the fuel economy of their vehicles a month after admitting that it had manipulated fuel economy figures on their Kei cars. This accusation comes from a new report from Japan's transport ministry. “We cannot help but feel concerned that these points haven’t been improved,” said Naoki Fujii, head of the road transport bureau at the ministry. Japan's transport ministry requires the country's automakers to perform five road tests and take the average of median values. In their report, the ministry explained to Mitsubishi workers how to properly do the test. But workers continued to manipulate the tests. Some examples listed in the report include, Workers took the average of the best mileage numbers, not the median numbers of the five tests Mitsubishi didn't tell workers doing the tests that you were only to do five Mitsubishi Motors chief executive Osamu Masuko said they are taking the continued problems seriously and laid blame at the “lack of capability” at the division responsible for the testing. Of course, this latest allegation puts some questions to Nissan planned acquisition of a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors. The deal - worth $2.2 billion - was expected to be finalized by the end of October. Now, it has been pushed back to the end of the year. Nissan's due diligence investigation is taking longer than expected. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  6. Mitsubishi Motors Reports August Sales CYPRESS, Calif., Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today reported August 2016 sales of 7,336 down 11.5 percent from August of 2015. August YTD 2016 2015 2016 2015 i‐MiEV 25 6 65 90 Mirage 1541 1569 15994 16623 Lancer 1089 1240 10616 13154 Outlander Sport 2572 3286 22948 24421 Outlander 2109 2188 17537 11413 Total 7336 8289 67160 65701
  7. Mitsubishi Motors brought in investigators to answer a question; why did they manipulate fuel economy figures on a number of their models? The results of the investigation were announced yesterday and it was a combination of various decisions and factors that led to it. The investigation criticized the company for "not having the manufacturing philosophy of an automaker". A key example comes from the company not rallying their workers to help them back on track after two major scandals. Instead, it was focused on cutting costs wherever it could. This caused Mitsubishi engineers to pull off the impossible task of improving fuel economy on their current engines and not developing new ones. There was also the feeling that workers couldn't speak up about reaching these impossible targets. The investigation also revealed that management failed to the address the possibility of something fishy going on with the fuel economy testing. In 2005, a new employee brought up concerns about fuel economy figures being made up. This was brushed off by managers. Six years later, a compliance survey addressing other falsifications were not brought to Mitsubishi executives. “The problem is not only with the testing, certification, or the development department. It’s a collective failure of Mitsubishi Motors as a whole, starting from the management,” said Yoshiro Sakata, one of the investigators appointed by the company at a briefing yesterday. “I take the panel’s recommendation seriously,” Mitsubishi Motors Chairman Osamu Masuko in a statement. “The efforts we’ve been making since I took over in 2005 haven’t been enough.” The investigators made a number of recommendations to prevent something like this from happening again. They include, Revamping development Making vehicle certification department independent from the research and development department Restructure the organization structure Being more transparent Understanding laws Be willing to find and tackle violations Source: Bloomberg, Reuters
  8. Mitsubishi Motors brought in investigators to answer a question; why did they manipulate fuel economy figures on a number of their models? The results of the investigation were announced yesterday and it was a combination of various decisions and factors that led to it. The investigation criticized the company for "not having the manufacturing philosophy of an automaker". A key example comes from the company not rallying their workers to help them back on track after two major scandals. Instead, it was focused on cutting costs wherever it could. This caused Mitsubishi engineers to pull off the impossible task of improving fuel economy on their current engines and not developing new ones. There was also the feeling that workers couldn't speak up about reaching these impossible targets. The investigation also revealed that management failed to the address the possibility of something fishy going on with the fuel economy testing. In 2005, a new employee brought up concerns about fuel economy figures being made up. This was brushed off by managers. Six years later, a compliance survey addressing other falsifications were not brought to Mitsubishi executives. “The problem is not only with the testing, certification, or the development department. It’s a collective failure of Mitsubishi Motors as a whole, starting from the management,” said Yoshiro Sakata, one of the investigators appointed by the company at a briefing yesterday. “I take the panel’s recommendation seriously,” Mitsubishi Motors Chairman Osamu Masuko in a statement. “The efforts we’ve been making since I took over in 2005 haven’t been enough.” The investigators made a number of recommendations to prevent something like this from happening again. They include, Revamping development Making vehicle certification department independent from the research and development department Restructure the organization structure Being more transparent Understanding laws Be willing to find and tackle violations Source: Bloomberg, Reuters View full article
  9. Mitsubishi Motors Reports July Sales Outlander Sport reported its best July sales ever Total Outlander 2016 sales up 10 percent over 2015 CYPRESS, Calif., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today reported July 2016 sales of 7,890, up slightly from July of last year. Mitsubishi's family of CUVs, the Outlander Sport and Outlander, led the way with total sales of 5,497, up 10 percent over July 2015. July YTD 2016 2015 2016 2015 i-MiEV 20 12 40 84 Mirage 1280 1553 14453 15054 Lancer 1093 1292 9527 11914 Outlander Sport 3545 3242 20376 21135 Outlander 1952 1769 15428 9225 Total 7890 7868 59824 57412
  10. Mitsubishi Motors Reports June Sales Outlander Sport and Outlander combined for sales of 5,450 Outlander up 86 percent over last June and records best June sales since 2007 Outlander Sport has best monthly sales since June 2015 Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today reported June 2016 sales of 8,023 up one percent from June of last year. Mitsubishi's three-row crossover utility vehicle, Outlander, led the way with sales of 1,991, up 86 percent over June 2015. Total calendar year 2016 sales are 51,934, up five percent over last year. June YTD 2016 2015 2016 2015 i‐MiEV 4 23 20 72 Mirage 1541 1669 13173 13501 Lancer 1028 1255 8434 10622 Outlander Sport 3459 3948 16831 17893 Outlander 1991 1068 13476 7456 Total 8023 7963 51934 49544
  11. Ever since Mitsubishi admitted to falsifying fuel economy figures on a number of vehicles in Japan, the automaker has been clear that this didn't extend to other markets. Nissan is double checking this claim. Automotive News reports that Mitsubishi's possible largest shareholder is looking into Mitsubishi's claimed fuel economy numbers in other markets to see if this scandal extended outside Japan. This is part of Nissan's due diligence review before finalizing plans to buy a 34 percent stake in the company. Nissan CFO Joe Peter tells Automotive News that the review hasn't found any skeletons yet, but they aren't finished with the review yet. “That would be an issue that could cause considerable concern,” said Peter when asked about false fuel economy figures outside of Japan. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. Ever since Mitsubishi admitted to falsifying fuel economy figures on a number of vehicles in Japan, the automaker has been clear that this didn't extend to other markets. Nissan is double checking this claim. Automotive News reports that Mitsubishi's possible largest shareholder is looking into Mitsubishi's claimed fuel economy numbers in other markets to see if this scandal extended outside Japan. This is part of Nissan's due diligence review before finalizing plans to buy a 34 percent stake in the company. Nissan CFO Joe Peter tells Automotive News that the review hasn't found any skeletons yet, but they aren't finished with the review yet. “That would be an issue that could cause considerable concern,” said Peter when asked about false fuel economy figures outside of Japan. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  13. On Friday, Mitsubishi Motors announced that it will set aside 50 billion yen (about $480 million) this fiscal year to compensate buyers for inflated fuel economy figures. Bloomberg reports that the Japanese automaker admitted that 20 vehicles sold in Japan within the past ten years had false fuel economy data. Mitsubishi said in a statement they used “desktop calculations” instead of running actual field tests and used the false data on the twenty models built from 2006 to this year. They also lowered the resistance readings on some models to give better fuel economy numbers. Mitsubishi reiterated they didn't find any false fuel economy data on models sold overseas. The compensation plan will see Mitsubishi pay 100,000 yen (about $955.63) to each minicar owner and pay for the difference in gasoline and taxes separately. Mitsubishi also announced that it expects Japan's transport ministry to approve the recalculated fuel efficiency ratings of its minicars by the end of the month. One more thing: The investigation being done by three former prosecutors into the scandal are expected to present their results sometime next month. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  14. On Friday, Mitsubishi Motors announced that it will set aside 50 billion yen (about $480 million) this fiscal year to compensate buyers for inflated fuel economy figures. Bloomberg reports that the Japanese automaker admitted that 20 vehicles sold in Japan within the past ten years had false fuel economy data. Mitsubishi said in a statement they used “desktop calculations” instead of running actual field tests and used the false data on the twenty models built from 2006 to this year. They also lowered the resistance readings on some models to give better fuel economy numbers. Mitsubishi reiterated they didn't find any false fuel economy data on models sold overseas. The compensation plan will see Mitsubishi pay 100,000 yen (about $955.63) to each minicar owner and pay for the difference in gasoline and taxes separately. Mitsubishi also announced that it expects Japan's transport ministry to approve the recalculated fuel efficiency ratings of its minicars by the end of the month. One more thing: The investigation being done by three former prosecutors into the scandal are expected to present their results sometime next month. Source: Bloomberg
  15. If there is one thing we have learned with previous scandals in the automotive, it is that it will get worse before becoming better. Such is the case with Mitsubishi and their fuel economy scandal. According to Reuters, various Japanese outlets are reporting that the inflated fuel economy numbers extend much further than the four models originally announced. The Asahi newspaper says the Japanese automaker falsified fuel economy figures on three additional models, while the Yomiuri newspaper says there are more than ten models with inflated fuel economy numbers. It should be noted these vehicles aren't on sale anymore. When reached for comment, Mitsubishi declined, saying that its investigation is ongoing. Source: Reuters View full article
  16. If there is one thing we have learned with previous scandals in the automotive, it is that it will get worse before becoming better. Such is the case with Mitsubishi and their fuel economy scandal. According to Reuters, various Japanese outlets are reporting that the inflated fuel economy numbers extend much further than the four models originally announced. The Asahi newspaper says the Japanese automaker falsified fuel economy figures on three additional models, while the Yomiuri newspaper says there are more than ten models with inflated fuel economy numbers. It should be noted these vehicles aren't on sale anymore. When reached for comment, Mitsubishi declined, saying that its investigation is ongoing. Source: Reuters
  17. Mitsubishi Motors Reports May Sales Numbers Outlander sales for the month report an increase of 119 percent over May 2015 Outlander records best May sales since 2003 Combined CUV sales of 5,996 are up 26.9 percent for the month and 22.2 percent for the year CYPRESS, Calif., June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today reported May 2016 sales of 9,025 and year-to-date sales of 43,911 up 5.6 percent for the year. Outlander sales of 2,963 are up 119 percent over the previous May, the best May sales since 2003. Outlander sales are up 79.8 percent for the year. May YTD 2016 2015 2016 2015 i-MiEV 2 18 16 49 Mirage 2098 3369 11632 11832 Lancer 929 1463 7406 9367 Outlander Sport 3060 3384 13372 13945 Outlander 2936 1341 11485 6388 Total 9025 9575 43911 41581
  18. The past month at Mitsubishi Motors has been tumultuous with the announcement that they had manipulated fuel economy numbers on a number of small city cars sold by them and Nissan. It would come to light that this manipulation had been going since 1991 on a number of models sold in Japan. Shares in the company dropped like a rock and there were concerns that Mitsubishi Motors would have to borrow money from other companies in the Mitsubishi conglomerate. But soon a white knight would appear, Nissan. The company that first discovered and reported it to Mitsubishi would buy a 34 percent share into the automaker, making it the largest shareholder. Thus, an alliance between the two was created. The two automakers are currently still in the beginning stages of their alliance, but certain things have been made clear of what the two hope to accomplish. The biggest one is to improve the reputation of Mitsubishi Motors in Japan. There is also talk about two working together on electric vehicles and possibly sharing a platform for their next-generation pickups. One of the questions still up in the air is what will the alliance bring to the U.S.? That’s probably way down on the priority list for both companies. But it is something that will have to be discussed sooner or later. At the moment, there seem to be two camps of thought. The first is that Mitsubishi should make an exit out of the U.S. Sales are on the rise for the Japanese automaker, but they pale in comparison with other competitors. Also, Mitsubishi doesn’t have the presence as other automakers when it comes to getting the message out. The second is that Mitsubishi should stay, which for the most part is followed by ‘bring back the Lancer Evolution!’. I hate to be the evil person here, but it isn’t coming back. Stop asking for it. Recently I was going back through some old Autocar magazines and came across an editorial talking about Nissan’s change in strategy for the U.K. and how they are currently reaping the benefits. “I remember when Nissan said it was giving up the ‘boring’ car market and dealing only in what were, at the time, niches. Quirky tall things. Things that didn’t sell in large volumes. That funny Qashqai thing: not quite a car, not quite a 4x4 either. We weren’t long out of the 1990s, a decade in which the list of the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK went something like this: Ford's Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Vauxhall's Vectra, Astra, Corsa, Peugeot 306, Volkswagen Golf, Rovers 200, 400. Family cars all. Straight family cars. Not always a Nissan among them, although the Micra dabbled inside the top 10, because it was, then, a cute supermini. So Nissan got into what were seen as niches. Ballsy move. And it has stayed there.” It was quite the gamble when Nissan made this call in the 2000’s to drop out of some very popular segments at the time to focus on some odd vehicles. But it has paid off as Nissan has become one of the popular brands in the U.K. and two of their vehicles - the Qashqai and Juke - are in the top ten of the best-selling vehicles. This got me thinking, what if Mitsubishi and Nissan were to apply this same strategy for the U.S.? You might think I’m being somewhat crazy with this idea, but what does Mitsubishi have to lose? What could this strategy possibly look like? I think we need to go back to 2015 and look at comments made by Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko for a possible starting point. "We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the U.S. market. We have changed direction. We are going to allocate more resources to the areas where we are strong in the U.S.” In 2015, more than 58 percent of Mitsubishi’s U.S. sales were crossovers. That trend is continuing in 2016 as 54 percent of sales through April are crossovers. We know that later this year, Mitsubishi will finally launch the long-delayed Outlander PHEV in the U.S. There is also talk of a small crossover and next-generation Montero/Pajero coming in the next few years. I know crossovers and SUVs aren’t really considered a niche anymore as every automaker has one. But this is an area that Mitsubishi that is quite strong. So what could Nissan bring to the table with crossovers/SUVs? A key item would be electrification. Yes, Mitsubishi does have a fair amount of experience here. But as I mentioned, one of the key things the two automakers are planning to work on together on electric vehicles. They could make some big inroads with building an electric crossover with decent range (200 or more miles). Considering the huge craving for crossovers by consumers, the two could strike something big here. The other item Nissan could bring is new a new platform and/or engines for the next-generation Outlander/Outlander Sport. One complaint about both crossovers are the four-cylinder engines as they don’t have enough power to get either model moving at a decent clip. There’s also the issue of Outlander Sport having a very jarring ride due to the suspension tuning. But this is one part of the Mitsubishi conundrum. The other deals with their other best-selling passenger car, the Mirage. Aside from being the current whipping boy of the automotive press, the Mirage makes up about 38.3 percent of Mitsubishi’s 2016 sales through April. A lot this is due to the low price of the model ($12,995). To capitalize on this success, Mitsubishi will be launching a Mirage sedan later this year. To go back to the comments made by Masuko, “We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the U.S. Market.” But the Mirage is proving to be a strong model and one that should be considered a core model. It would be mad for Mitsubishi to drop it. One thing that the Mirage does need is a new engine. The 1.2L three-cylinder does deliver excellent fuel economy figures (37 City/43 Highway), but it is slow. Snails could outrun this vehicle. This is where Nissan could come in by giving the Mirage an engine transplant. The 1.6L four-cylinder from the Versa/Versa Note with 109 horsepower would provide a needed boost in power and wouldn’t affect fuel economy numbers much. Now that I have outlined some key issues and comments, let’s dive into what a smaller lineup for Mitsubishi could possibly look like with some help from Nissan. Mirage/Mirage G4: New engine from Nissan and possibly an improved interior. Lancer: Rebadged version of Sentra and Pulsar Hatchback, or Nissan helps with speeding up development of the next-gen model. Outlander Sport: Electric model possibly joins range. Outlander: Plug-in hybrid model sticks around. Pajero/Montero: All Mitsubishi here. Gas and plug-in hybrid powertrains on offer. Five and seven-seat configurations on offer. Triton/L200: Next-Generation model using Nissan Navara platform. Mitsubishi works on everything else from engines and four-wheel drive system. This is way out as both companies have introduced their latest trucks. Would Nissan be willing to help Mitsubishi with this? That is tough to say at this time since we’re still in the honeymoon period between the two automakers and there are more pressing things to address. There is also the consideration of why Nissan would help a competitor in the market. But Mitsubishi is a small bit player in the U.S. Last year, Mitsubishi only sold 95,342 vehicles. This pales in comparison with the 1,484,918 vehicles sold by Nissan last year. This could help Mitsubishi out with making a case for this idea. The U.S. is way down on the priority list between Mitsubishi and Nissan. But I’m sure the U.S. offices are thinking about what will happen. There are two real choices that are on the table, either leave the U.S. market or take a gamble and change up your lineup somewhat drastically. If I was Mitsubishi, I would push for the latter option by using the niche plan. View full article
  19. The past month at Mitsubishi Motors has been tumultuous with the announcement that they had manipulated fuel economy numbers on a number of small city cars sold by them and Nissan. It would come to light that this manipulation had been going since 1991 on a number of models sold in Japan. Shares in the company dropped like a rock and there were concerns that Mitsubishi Motors would have to borrow money from other companies in the Mitsubishi conglomerate. But soon a white knight would appear, Nissan. The company that first discovered and reported it to Mitsubishi would buy a 34 percent share into the automaker, making it the largest shareholder. Thus, an alliance between the two was created. The two automakers are currently still in the beginning stages of their alliance, but certain things have been made clear of what the two hope to accomplish. The biggest one is to improve the reputation of Mitsubishi Motors in Japan. There is also talk about two working together on electric vehicles and possibly sharing a platform for their next-generation pickups. One of the questions still up in the air is what will the alliance bring to the U.S.? That’s probably way down on the priority list for both companies. But it is something that will have to be discussed sooner or later. At the moment, there seem to be two camps of thought. The first is that Mitsubishi should make an exit out of the U.S. Sales are on the rise for the Japanese automaker, but they pale in comparison with other competitors. Also, Mitsubishi doesn’t have the presence as other automakers when it comes to getting the message out. The second is that Mitsubishi should stay, which for the most part is followed by ‘bring back the Lancer Evolution!’. I hate to be the evil person here, but it isn’t coming back. Stop asking for it. Recently I was going back through some old Autocar magazines and came across an editorial talking about Nissan’s change in strategy for the U.K. and how they are currently reaping the benefits. “I remember when Nissan said it was giving up the ‘boring’ car market and dealing only in what were, at the time, niches. Quirky tall things. Things that didn’t sell in large volumes. That funny Qashqai thing: not quite a car, not quite a 4x4 either. We weren’t long out of the 1990s, a decade in which the list of the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK went something like this: Ford's Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Vauxhall's Vectra, Astra, Corsa, Peugeot 306, Volkswagen Golf, Rovers 200, 400. Family cars all. Straight family cars. Not always a Nissan among them, although the Micra dabbled inside the top 10, because it was, then, a cute supermini. So Nissan got into what were seen as niches. Ballsy move. And it has stayed there.” It was quite the gamble when Nissan made this call in the 2000’s to drop out of some very popular segments at the time to focus on some odd vehicles. But it has paid off as Nissan has become one of the popular brands in the U.K. and two of their vehicles - the Qashqai and Juke - are in the top ten of the best-selling vehicles. This got me thinking, what if Mitsubishi and Nissan were to apply this same strategy for the U.S.? You might think I’m being somewhat crazy with this idea, but what does Mitsubishi have to lose? What could this strategy possibly look like? I think we need to go back to 2015 and look at comments made by Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko for a possible starting point. "We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the U.S. market. We have changed direction. We are going to allocate more resources to the areas where we are strong in the U.S.” In 2015, more than 58 percent of Mitsubishi’s U.S. sales were crossovers. That trend is continuing in 2016 as 54 percent of sales through April are crossovers. We know that later this year, Mitsubishi will finally launch the long-delayed Outlander PHEV in the U.S. There is also talk of a small crossover and next-generation Montero/Pajero coming in the next few years. I know crossovers and SUVs aren’t really considered a niche anymore as every automaker has one. But this is an area that Mitsubishi that is quite strong. So what could Nissan bring to the table with crossovers/SUVs? A key item would be electrification. Yes, Mitsubishi does have a fair amount of experience here. But as I mentioned, one of the key things the two automakers are planning to work on together on electric vehicles. They could make some big inroads with building an electric crossover with decent range (200 or more miles). Considering the huge craving for crossovers by consumers, the two could strike something big here. The other item Nissan could bring is new a new platform and/or engines for the next-generation Outlander/Outlander Sport. One complaint about both crossovers are the four-cylinder engines as they don’t have enough power to get either model moving at a decent clip. There’s also the issue of Outlander Sport having a very jarring ride due to the suspension tuning. But this is one part of the Mitsubishi conundrum. The other deals with their other best-selling passenger car, the Mirage. Aside from being the current whipping boy of the automotive press, the Mirage makes up about 38.3 percent of Mitsubishi’s 2016 sales through April. A lot this is due to the low price of the model ($12,995). To capitalize on this success, Mitsubishi will be launching a Mirage sedan later this year. To go back to the comments made by Masuko, “We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the U.S. Market.” But the Mirage is proving to be a strong model and one that should be considered a core model. It would be mad for Mitsubishi to drop it. One thing that the Mirage does need is a new engine. The 1.2L three-cylinder does deliver excellent fuel economy figures (37 City/43 Highway), but it is slow. Snails could outrun this vehicle. This is where Nissan could come in by giving the Mirage an engine transplant. The 1.6L four-cylinder from the Versa/Versa Note with 109 horsepower would provide a needed boost in power and wouldn’t affect fuel economy numbers much. Now that I have outlined some key issues and comments, let’s dive into what a smaller lineup for Mitsubishi could possibly look like with some help from Nissan. Mirage/Mirage G4: New engine from Nissan and possibly an improved interior. Lancer: Rebadged version of Sentra and Pulsar Hatchback, or Nissan helps with speeding up development of the next-gen model. Outlander Sport: Electric model possibly joins range. Outlander: Plug-in hybrid model sticks around. Pajero/Montero: All Mitsubishi here. Gas and plug-in hybrid powertrains on offer. Five and seven-seat configurations on offer. Triton/L200: Next-Generation model using Nissan Navara platform. Mitsubishi works on everything else from engines and four-wheel drive system. This is way out as both companies have introduced their latest trucks. Would Nissan be willing to help Mitsubishi with this? That is tough to say at this time since we’re still in the honeymoon period between the two automakers and there are more pressing things to address. There is also the consideration of why Nissan would help a competitor in the market. But Mitsubishi is a small bit player in the U.S. Last year, Mitsubishi only sold 95,342 vehicles. This pales in comparison with the 1,484,918 vehicles sold by Nissan last year. This could help Mitsubishi out with making a case for this idea. The U.S. is way down on the priority list between Mitsubishi and Nissan. But I’m sure the U.S. offices are thinking about what will happen. There are two real choices that are on the table, either leave the U.S. market or take a gamble and change up your lineup somewhat drastically. If I was Mitsubishi, I would push for the latter option by using the niche plan.
  20. Tetsuro Aikawa, Mitsubishi Motors' president and COO will be stepping down from the company next month. In a statement released by the company, Aikawa will resign on June 24th, the same date of Mitsubishi's annual shareholders meeting. Ryugo Nakao, the executive vice president for quality and product strategy will also be stepping down at the same time. Automotive News reports that Akiawa stepped down for two key reasons. The first was that he was the director of the r&d division that inflated the fuel economy test figures. The second is to give a clean slate for the new development chief, that will likely be installed by Nissan as part of the two companies' new alliance. “For causing trouble and worry first and foremost to our customers and to all involved, I take responsibility,” said Akiawa. During a press conference today, CEO Osamu Masuko said he would handle the duties of both people for the time being until replacements are found. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mitsubishi Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Personnel Changes (Resignation) of Members of the Board Tokyo, May 18, 2016 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced resignation of members of the board as follows: 1. Member of the Board who will resign Tetsuro Aikawa President and COO, Representative Director Ryugo Nakao Executive Vice President, Representative Director 2. Reason for resignations As our announcement today on the Report to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism concerning improper conduct in fuel consumption testing of vehicles manufactured by MMC shows, MMC has caused tremendous trouble and concern to our customers and all of our stakeholders. Considering this, Mr. Aikawa and Mr. Nakao decided today that they will resign as Representative Directors as of June 24, 2016. 3. Date of resignation June 24 (the day of MMC's ordinary shareholders meeting) We will decide on the successors of both Representative Directors at our board of directors' meeting and make an announcement promptly
  21. Tetsuro Aikawa, Mitsubishi Motors' president and COO will be stepping down from the company next month. In a statement released by the company, Aikawa will resign on June 24th, the same date of Mitsubishi's annual shareholders meeting. Ryugo Nakao, the executive vice president for quality and product strategy will also be stepping down at the same time. Automotive News reports that Akiawa stepped down for two key reasons. The first was that he was the director of the r&d division that inflated the fuel economy test figures. The second is to give a clean slate for the new development chief, that will likely be installed by Nissan as part of the two companies' new alliance. “For causing trouble and worry first and foremost to our customers and to all involved, I take responsibility,” said Akiawa. During a press conference today, CEO Osamu Masuko said he would handle the duties of both people for the time being until replacements are found. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mitsubishi Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Personnel Changes (Resignation) of Members of the Board Tokyo, May 18, 2016 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced resignation of members of the board as follows: 1. Member of the Board who will resign Tetsuro Aikawa President and COO, Representative Director Ryugo Nakao Executive Vice President, Representative Director 2. Reason for resignations As our announcement today on the Report to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism concerning improper conduct in fuel consumption testing of vehicles manufactured by MMC shows, MMC has caused tremendous trouble and concern to our customers and all of our stakeholders. Considering this, Mr. Aikawa and Mr. Nakao decided today that they will resign as Representative Directors as of June 24, 2016. 3. Date of resignation June 24 (the day of MMC's ordinary shareholders meeting) We will decide on the successors of both Representative Directors at our board of directors' meeting and make an announcement promptly View full article
  22. The recently announced alliance between Mitsubishi and Nissan is already starting to bear some fruit out. Speaking with CarAdvice, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said there was a possibility of the two companies of sharing a platform for their next-generation midsize trucks - the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara. “[it’s] very possible that we are going to use the same platform, but we’re going to develop the cars differently because the customers are not the same,” said Ghosn. “But instead of two different platforms we can have them on the same platform but be completely different products. The cost of development and purchasing will be lower. A common platform, but different developments.” It is unclear if the two companies will jointly develop a new platform or if Mitsubishi will license one from Nissan. But don't expect new models to come anytime soon. Both Mitsubishi and Nissan have recently launched new versions of their trucks, and it will be awhile before we see new ones. Source: CarAdvice.com.au
  23. The recently announced alliance between Mitsubishi and Nissan is already starting to bear some fruit out. Speaking with CarAdvice, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said there was a possibility of the two companies of sharing a platform for their next-generation midsize trucks - the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara. “[it’s] very possible that we are going to use the same platform, but we’re going to develop the cars differently because the customers are not the same,” said Ghosn. “But instead of two different platforms we can have them on the same platform but be completely different products. The cost of development and purchasing will be lower. A common platform, but different developments.” It is unclear if the two companies will jointly develop a new platform or if Mitsubishi will license one from Nissan. But don't expect new models to come anytime soon. Both Mitsubishi and Nissan have recently launched new versions of their trucks, and it will be awhile before we see new ones. Source: CarAdvice.com.au View full article
  24. We weren't expecting this: Nissan, the automaker who discovered the manipulation of fuel economy figures at Mitsubishi Motors, is currently in the final stages of buying a controlling stake into the company. According to reports from NHK and the Nikkei Asian Review, Nissan will spend roughly 200 billion Yen (about $1.8 billion) to acquire over 30 percent interest in Mitsubishi Motors. This would make Nissan the largest shareholder in the company, surpassing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which currently has a 20 percent stake. This news comes after Mitsubishi announced that all of its models sold in Japan since 1991 may have inflated fuel economy numbers. Since the scandal came to light, shares in Mitsubishi Motors have dropped 43 percent. Sales of Mitsubishi vehicles in Japan have also taken a turn for the worse. Mitsubishi Motors says they have enough money to cover the scandal and will not seek help from Mitsubishi group companies. Why would Nissan want a controlling stake in Mitsubishi? A couple of reasons. One, Mitsubishi vehicles are very popular in markets such as Thailand and Indonesia. In fact, Asia makes 50 percent of the company's group operating profit. There is also talk about the two cooperating on electric vehicles. Both companies will hold board meetings tomorrow to discuss the capital tie-up and how the shares will be distributed. Source: Bloomberg, NHK, Nikkei Asian Review UPDATE: Both Mitsubishi and Nissan confirmed they are in talks this morning in Japan. "Nissan and Mitsubishi are discussing various matters including capital cooperation, but nothing has been decided," according to statements released by both companies. Reuters confirms that the board of both companies will be holding separate meetings today to discuss this issue. Source: Reuters
  25. We weren't expecting this: Nissan, the automaker who discovered the manipulation of fuel economy figures at Mitsubishi Motors, is currently in the final stages of buying a controlling stake into the company. According to reports from NHK and the Nikkei Asian Review, Nissan will spend roughly 200 billion Yen (about $1.8 billion) to acquire over 30 percent interest in Mitsubishi Motors. This would make Nissan the largest shareholder in the company, surpassing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which currently has a 20 percent stake. This news comes after Mitsubishi announced that all of its models sold in Japan since 1991 may have inflated fuel economy numbers. Since the scandal came to light, shares in Mitsubishi Motors have dropped 43 percent. Sales of Mitsubishi vehicles in Japan have also taken a turn for the worse. Mitsubishi Motors says they have enough money to cover the scandal and will not seek help from Mitsubishi group companies. Why would Nissan want a controlling stake in Mitsubishi? A couple of reasons. One, Mitsubishi vehicles are very popular in markets such as Thailand and Indonesia. In fact, Asia makes 50 percent of the company's group operating profit. There is also talk about the two cooperating on electric vehicles. Both companies will hold board meetings tomorrow to discuss the capital tie-up and how the shares will be distributed. Source: Bloomberg, NHK, Nikkei Asian Review UPDATE: Both Mitsubishi and Nissan confirmed they are in talks this morning in Japan. "Nissan and Mitsubishi are discussing various matters including capital cooperation, but nothing has been decided," according to statements released by both companies. Reuters confirms that the board of both companies will be holding separate meetings today to discuss this issue. Source: Reuters View full article

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