By on May 31, 2013
Carlos Ghosn and Osamu Masuko CEO of Mitsubishi - Picture courtesy lefigaro.fr

Carlos Ghosn and Osamu Masuko CEO of Mitsubishi

Renault chief Carlos Ghosn is reaching out, forging foreign alliances with a heavy emphasis on emerging markets. “Faced with the slump in the European markets,” writes the French Figaro, Renault is “edging closer to Mitsubishi.” Nothing is official, and if you ask on the record, you get firm denials, such as the “this is not true,”  told to Reuters by a Mitsubishi Motors spokesman. Behind the scenes, there are traces of heavy petting. Let’s look into them.

The Japanese bride, Mitusbishi, needs  to get hitched to a bigger partner badly. In calendar 2012, the diamond brand made a little over 1 million units globally, about half of them at home in Japan, the other half abroad.  Some 70 percent of the Japanese production were exported. At home in Japan, Mitsubishi sold a mere 140,000 units in 2012, nearly a tenth of them imported.  Mitsubishi  needs scale and has a lot of capacity.

Mitsubishi has been cooperating with Renault’s alliance partner Nissan for a long time, and has recently intensified the cooperation. Nissan and Renault are so intermeshed that for all intents and purposes, there already is some kind of an alliance between Renault and Mitsubishi, the loose, working level kind, the kind Carlos Ghosn prefers over the blunt takeover so popular among Renault’s Germanic neighbors. In a recent talk to French students, Ghosn said that “cross-cultural relations are one of our core competencies.”

Mitsubishi  is looking back at a series of failed marriages and romances, one of them with Renault’s French peer PSA, only months after they were thought to have tied the knot.

Renault and Nissan want to expand aggressively into the emerging markets. Mitsubishi shares that goal. Development of platforms and technologies is expensive, and you need to spread that investment over many units. Over A LOT OF UNITS if they are low cost, targeted at cash poor markets. Then, those many units need to be made.

“We would be nuts if we invest a lot of money into new plants if there’s so much idle capacity sitting around,” muses a friend who works at a French car company that starts with an “R.”  The friend thinks that no immediate announcements will come in respect to the story, but he recommends to keep monitoring  the French-Japonaise romance.

Meanwhile,  a Renault spokeswoman told Reuters on the record: “We had discussions with Mitsubishi in the past on limited cooperation as we have done with other automakers, but they didn’t result in an agreement. We have nothing new at this stage.”

(Due to a recent outbreak of prudery among some readers and writers of these annals, we refrain from illustrating this story with the customary tie-up pictures, although there are good ones. We will save them for a more festive occasion.)

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

5 Comments on “Le Figaro: Renault And Mitsubishi Talking Tie-up (Sorry, No Shibari Pictures)...”


  • avatar

    Maybe if this takes place, it would be a good thing all around, a friend has a Mitsubisih Vehicle, not sure which Model, but she has had a lot of trouble with it, and of course here in Canada we don’t have “Lemon Lawa” more the pity, she has paid more for repairs than she did for the New Vehilce, they may have a good warranty, but if the selling dealers screw up, who is to blame?

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    Go google the Renault Samsung SM5 Platinum and Renault Samsung SM7 cars and you’ll potentially see what Mitsubishi could definitely use in North America, as the 2014 Mitsubishi Galant and Debonaire respectively. It is not so far fetched – since these Renault Samsung cars are rebadged/sold as Renaults in some export markets.

    A major marketer simply cannot manage in the US without a D-class car. Clearly Mitsubishi cannot afford to do one, and needs to tie up in order to obtain this vital size of car. At the very least, they should bring in one of the two Renault Samsungs as a Mitsubishi Galant.

    Perhaps if sales do well enough, Mitsubishi’s Normal, Ill. plant could assemble them from CKD kits until the next generation of car, then perhaps manufacture them stateside (on license).

    The Renault Samsung cars have also been on top of the quality polls for something like a dozen years in South Korea. Given Hyundai’s meteoric rise in quality during that time, that’s saying something very positive about Renault Samsung!

    Mitsubishi US executives should have been out courting ex-Suzuki dealers as well as dealers tossed aside by GM and Chrysler – they still could do so. They need additional outlets. Not to mention, a big marketing push.

    In informal tie-up with Renault and Nissan is probably beneficial to all because Mitsubishi is somewhat strong in certain growing markets.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Thank you Bertel. I’m not a prude, but I work in a highschool and I’m currently babysitting the IT department while everyone else is out on a mission. I don’t need all these kids who have cameras that connect straight to Facebook snapping a picture of me innocently reading a car blog, where it makes its way to parents then teachers then brass, and then I am canned.

    If you could implement an NSFW spoiler tag, that would be fantastic.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    This probably means no follow-up for the PSA clones of the Mitsu ASX – the Citroën C4 Aircross and Peugeot 4008.

    I’m sure Renault won’t want one of their partners making crossovers for the competition.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India