That $2.3 billion rescue from Nissan is showing its benefits.
As the dust continues to settle on Renault-Nissan’s $2.3 billion purchase of 34 percent of Mitsubishi following the latter’s falsified fuel economy data scandal, both sides are digging in and deciding how they can help each other. According to Reuters, Mitsubishi is in need of a new pickup truck for the US, while Nissan needs a cheaper one for its global market. Therefore, the two brands could end up combining their respective expertise for eventual replacements for the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara, both of which are built in South Asia.
“If you look at our cost performance in that region, we are the benchmark within the alliance,” Mitsubishi chief operating officer Trevor Mann told Reuters at Geneva last week. “Our four-by-four technology, our cost base on pickups is better than Nissan’s.” In other words, don’t be surprised to see Mitsubishi truck architecture underpin future Nissan trucks as a shared platform. This would in turn allow the Mitsubishi factory to focus on trucks while Nissan can concentrate on cars and SUVs. For now, nothing has been decided and the Navara, because it’s still new, isn’t due for replacement until 2022.
However, this rumored common truck platform could be Mitsubishi’s key to return to the US truck market. The last time Mitsubishi had a US market truck, it was nothing more than a rebadged Dodge Dakota, the Raider. That was back in 2009.