A major change will happen by 2026.
Mitsubishi has had its ups and downs over the past few years. Fortunately, its survival is now guaranteed thanks to becoming the third wheel of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance a few years ago. The all-new Mitsubishi Outlander, essentially a heavily re-skinned Nissan Rogue, is one result of that.
Mitsubishi understands it's not big enough to compete in certain markets so is spending its time and money where it's strong. The US is one such market and so is its home country of Japan. Abandoning this country is not an option and Mitsubishi has reportedly just struck a vital deal.
According to Nikkei Asia, Mitsubishi will end the development of new car platforms for the Japanese market by around 2026. Instead, it will solely rely on architectures built by Nissan. This will enable Mitsubishi to free up vital funds to be put towards electric vehicle research and development and other new technologies. Developing new vehicle platforms from scratch costs hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to its alliance with the much larger and wealthier Nissan, Mitsubishi can relax.
What makes Mitsubishi's new approach interesting is that it'll be the first Japanese automaker to end new vehicle platform development for passenger vehicles. However, it still fully intends to design its own interiors, exteriors, and drive devices.
This major decision was probably difficult to make for Mitsubishi because without its own unique platforms, it loses some independence. But recent events, including the pandemic, forced the company to reexamine everything. It's suffered financial losses for the past two years and will soon cease production of unprofitable models like the Pajero SUV. Despite the upcoming strategy change, Mitsubishi isn't the first automaker to rely on others for platforms.
Take Honda, for example. It recently announced a joint cooperation agreement with General Motors for EV platform development for North America. Ford and Volkswagen also previously struck a similar deal.