During the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters from Automotive News his plan for Mitsubishi Motors. Five months ago, Nissan Motor Company (NMC) bought a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), effectively making NMC the largest shareholder of MMC. The purchase followed right after Mitsubishi Motors was involved in a scandal involving the manipulation of fuel economy data. The automaker has made a public apology following the scandal.
The most recent development between the manufacturers saw the European Commission recognizing the deal between the two. “The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the overlaps between the companies' activities were limited and a number of strong players would remain active in the markets concerned after the merger,” read the official statement from the European Commission.
Along with the European Commission's blessing, Ghosn wants Mitsubishi to be part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, a strategic partnership that has been going on since 1999. The Franco-Japanese partnership allows the two manufacturers to sell cars where either Nissan or Renault cars are not available in a certain market or to help boost market share. Nissan hopes to help increase Mitsubishi's market share in East Asia, Latin America and Europe with the partnership.
“This is not a deal where we say, ‘OK, we made the deal, now let’s think what we can do together,' No. The day we announce the deal, we’re going to tell you exactly what we’re going to do together. And it’s massive. It’s massive between Mitsubishi and Nissan. And also, it may be very significant between Renault and Mitsubishi. We will have to dig more in the U.S. But when you talk about purchasing, engineering, platforms, engines, plug-in hybrid, it’s massive,” said Ghosn during the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
If Ghosn's plans push through, Mitsubishi will be cooperating with Nissan and Renault in areas of purchasing, common vehicle platforms, technology-sharing, joint plant utilization and market growth. Ghosn adds, “The alliance is about developing synergy. We know that there are a lot of synergies with Mitsubishi and strategically we have a lot of connection.”
Even before the deal between Mitsubishi and Nissan was set, the two manufacturers have been sharing some platforms in their home market. Mitsubishi provides Nissan with Kei cars in the form of the eK (MMC) and the Dayz (NMC). Other examples include the Nissan AD and Mitsubishi Lancer Cargo, Nissan Fuga and Mitsubishi Dignity and the Nissan NV300 and Mitsubishi Delica D:3.