By on March 12, 2017

triton-mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors needs a pickup truck for the U.S. and Nissan wants a cheaper one for the global market. While the Red Diamonds’ Raider filled a ten year gap in the company’s lineup after the American discontinuation of the Mighty Max in 1996, sales were disappointing and production ended back in 2009. Now Mitsubishi and its new parent Nissan are investigating joint production of pickup trucks in Southeast Asia as they hunt for savings within the Renault-Nissan partnership.

The two Japanese automakers may combine the technical basis and eventual production of the future replacements for the South Asian-built Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton, Mitsubishi chief operating officer Trevor Mann said in an interview at the Geneva car show.

“If you look at our cost performance in that region, we are the benchmark within the alliance,” Mann told Reuters. “Our four-by-four technology, our cost base on pickups is better than Nissan’s.”

That means Mitsubishi’s pickup architectures are likely to underpin subsequent Nissan models, said Mann, who was assigned by alliance head Carlos Ghosn to turn the failing Mitsubishi around after Nissan dropped $2.3 billion for a 34 percent controlling stake last October.

While Nissan and Mitsubishi both produce frame-based pickups and cars, the vehicles have elemental manufacturing and design differences. Moving to shared architectures would allow the Mitsubishi factory to focus on pickups while the Nissan plant continues to produce cars and SUVs, increasing productivity and lowering costs for both brands, Mann said.

Although, he was also careful to say that nothing had been set in stone. The current Navara and Triton models were launched in 2014 and neither are due for replacement until 2022, meaning development decisions should still be a couple years away. However, under a common platform it might be easier to get Mitsubishi trucks back into other markets — maybe even the United States and Canada if the cooperative truck platform extends beyond Asian assembly.

[Image: Mitsubishi Motors]

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60 Comments on “Mitsubishi Might Share Future Pickup Platforms with Nissan...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    Nissan is a collective of crap brands not seen since British Leyland. SubPrime buyers rejoice.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The current Buick lineup challenges that assertion.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        The world is a circular sh*t wheel. Mitsubishi Nissan Mercedes all trying to sell the same platform medium truck?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Tony,
          Renault as well.

          You can remove Mitsubishi. MB will have differences as well.

          Its only Nissan an Mitsubishi with this narrow body platform.

          Remember, there are platforms shared by multiple companies.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            MB has abandoned the idea. They say there’s no market for an upscale mid-size pickup in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @TonyJZX
          MB will not really share this platform as such , as the suspension, body, wheelbase , body and engines will be different

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            The X-Class will still be sold, just not here

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            A: This is essentially an American blog site;
            B: TTAC only recently posted an article about MB’s interest in bringing the X-class to the US.

            Since A and B are true, then the statement is valid. Just like everybody saying, “No, we’ll never see the global Ranger in the US with Ford finally saying; “We’re going to build it for America.” Or my commenting on my desire to see the Ram 700 and/or Ram 1200 in the US and others saying, “It will never happen.”

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Lil Troll you are making very little sense

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            RobertRyan, this is the last time I want to see that personal attack used. It does not belong here.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Mercedes, Mitsubishi, what’s the difference? A Nissan by any other name would rust as sweet.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Well, at least it’s the approximate type of truck I want; extended cab and smaller than full-sized. Can’t see much beyond that.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The new D23 chassis was heavily based on the D20/22 chassis. So, I suspect the next US Frontier to be around the size of a D20/22 and Mitsubishi Triton. I don’t know how well this will work with CAFE.

      Engine choice in the US narrow body Frontier will be interesting. Maybe a 2.3 Renault diesel could help with a 2 litre gas engine.

      The D40 was designed in San Diego and was designed to be manufactured on the same line as the Titan (old).

      The new Titan is based more on the Nissan van, departing from the D40.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Considering the price of diesel where I live, I really couldn’t care less if anybody ever offers a diesel. Economically speaking, any fuel-mileage gain you get with the diesel is lost with the 30¢ per gallon premium you have to pay for the fuel.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Vulpine
          Not the same economics elsewhere in the world. That and midrange torque, fuel economy are big sellers

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Both the US and Europe have tightened regulations on diesel emissions and as a result the amount of sulphur in diesel fuel, jacking up the price for “road diesel” as compared to “off-road diesel.” Yes, a local gas station actually has two different diesel pumps to supply farm equipment compared to highway vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Vulpine,
          I re-read my comment. I can’t locate where I stated you need a diesel.

          Sorry.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Big Al: I quote, “Engine choice in the US narrow body Frontier will be interesting. Maybe a 2.3 Renault diesel could help with a 2 litre gas engine.”

            If that’s not suggesting a diesel, I don’t know what is. My point is that diesel has become a handicap, not a benefit, because fuel cost is effectively the same to cover the same distance no matter whether you’re driving diesel of gas.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Suggesting you buy one jeff;)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Kinda hard to feel all warm and fuzzy over a little truck diesel when I can get a 6.2 Chevy or EB3.5 Ford for a similar price.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Couldn’t care less about a 6.2 Chevy or 3.5EB Ford either; far more horsepower than needed for a true compact truck. 200 horses is more than enough for whatever a compact will carry or tow.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        The original Titan, the full size NV, the new Titan and the Frontier are *all* based on the F-Alpha platform. Some of the heavier duty components from the NV2500 were used to create the XD.

        Saying it now has more in common with the van implies (falsely) that the van was not based off the original Titan, which it was. They’re all related, the NV and the pickups. There simply was an HD van before the pickup, but its not like the NV is some wildly different vehicle, its still based on the same platform as the old and new Titan.

        D40 is the generation of trucks known in the US as the current Frontier, not the platform it rides upon. They’re all on the F-Alpha platform. Stop trying to sound smarter than you are. You and your twin suck at being arrogant because your facts are all pulled out of thin air (to put it mildly).

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Little troll, how lomg have you been trolling? Must be as old as the net

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          The Alpha platform is a series of different platforms designed to run on one line.

          The New Titan platform started with the Van, whereas the old Titan started with the D40.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The current NV is based on the Titan platform, not the other way around. Nissan spent big bucks creating the plant to build the Titan and Frontier only to have it operate way under capacity. Co they hacked together a panel truck version of the platform in an attempt to make the plant loose less money.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I pointed this out a while ago (2 years), Nissan has “wide” and “narrow” versions of the D23 platform.

    The narrow platform was for developing nations and the US. Which, I pointed out a while back.

    Mitsubishi and Nissan pairing up makes lots of sense. The D40 and Triton were built on the same line in Thailand.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Actually old news for us. Triton and Navara will be significantly different,, they will go after different sections of the market

  • avatar
    WhatsMyNextCar

    I remember the ’96 Mighty Max. It was outclassed by others available at the time, excluding the S-10/Jimmy, but I appreciated it for what it was. That year, in general, was fantastic for gearheads.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I disagree, the last generation of S-10/Sonoma was good and based on the MY 1994 redesign. The 1996 Mighty Max was the 2nd Generation which was introduced in MY 1987. The Mighty Max was a good truck but it was in need of a redesign by 1996. I would like to see a new Mitsubishi truck in the US but Mitsubishi needs to become more competitive.

  • avatar
    Marko

    The Raider…I’ve literally seen two, maybe three in my life. They seem more rare than the Equator, Vehicross, 9-2X, and X-Type wagon, even though they really aren’t. The Raider isn’t even common in Mitsubishi-heavy areas of PA.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I’ve seen a longer wheelbase on an MR2. It’s comical to look at, and downright dangerous, in crew-cab form with anything more than a chromoly BMX bicycle in the back.

    It’s the only truck that would be rated a *negative* payload for the US market.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      That’s cool and almost to incredible to believe, the chassis frame and body cavities filled with hydrogen or helium.

      Can you post a link with this load increasing technology.

      I think you have won “commenter of the week”, or something similar.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Beyond a regular cab, the wheelbase needs to be stretched. It’s stupid! Or a “crew cab” with just a *2 foot* bed for safety. Or nothing beyond styrofoam in the bed…

        But then someone gives it a 2,000+ lbs payload??????????????????????????????????

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Tacomas, Colorados, the soon to be released Ranger; or 1,2,3 in mid-size truck sales. Nissan and Mitsubishi will be slugging it out for 4th and 5th. Unless Sergio decides to bring a unibody small truck to the US. Or Ford loses it’s mind and releases a Transit Conect-o-line; appliance white, automatic trans (fleet use), AC, AM/FM 1 CD radio and a really horrid non-turbo 4 cylinder engine.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “Transit Conect-o-line; appliance white, automatic trans (fleet use), AC, AM/FM 1 CD radio and a really horrid non-turbo 4 cylinder engine.”

      Silver Tongued Devil, you!

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I think this Mitsu is a really nice looking little trucklet. That rear overhang is huge, I suppose that is done to shorten the wheelbase in interests of minimizing turning circle as well as improving breakover angle. Both more important factors in crowded streets or remote jungle roads of SE Asia.

    As an aside, I (sort of) voted with my wallet this weekend in the eternal truck-size debate: scooped up a lower mile, one owner ’97 Ranger XLT. Reg-cab+6 foot bed, 2wd, Lima 4cyl, 5spd manual. Power steering and A/C, opening rear glass, fold down armrest in the bench seat, hand crank windows and open-the-window-adjust-by-hand mirrors. Not exactly ‘peppy’ but really fun to drive, although it desperately needs shocks (already on order, parts are laughably cheap). I tend to drive with a more leaned-back seat so the regular cab has been an adjustment for sure, but I doubt I’ll be doing many long drives in this thing aside from a few runs to the in-laws’ 2 hours away.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Look how shallow the load space appears compared to the exterior bed depth. Is the floor flat for its entire width and suspended over the rear suspension like in a kei truck?

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        No looks like there are still wheel arches present, they’re just crammed into the front corners of the bed:
        http://www.themotorreport.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/2009_mitsubishi_l200lb_01.jpg

        That’s actually a pretty nifty layout, although as others have mentioned I’m not sure it does the truck any favors as far as stability and weight distribution when hauling a load (especially the 2000lb payload it is spec’d for). I was doing some rust touch up in the bed of my new Ranger this weekend, it was refreshingly easy to just lean into and over the side of the bed, or to simply hop in with a step onto the bumper or wheel. Looking forward to putting it to work.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The wheelbase is short to just have one (SUV) length for all configurations. It saves a few dollars, but it leaves the crew cab pickup basically unusable for real work, never mind *towing*.

      Yet this “truck” is *rated* way beyond its actual capabilities.

      Should Oz capacity ratings be taken seriously? Aren’t they a complete joke??

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “unusable for real work, never mind *towing*.”

        I mean my 4Runner has a 105″ wheelbase and I’ve towed twin axle uhaul moving trailers, as well as the smaller 5×9 utility trailers with a motorcycle. Stability is certainly less than ideal with my short wheelbase+tall suspension, but I would by no means call it “unusable.”

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s a “truck”, except the Triton has about the same wheelbase as your 4Runner, all configurations, and that’s the problem. Would you tow up to 6,800 lbs with your midsize SUV? The Triton is *rated* for that and more.

          It has about a foot longer distance from tow ball to truck axle, vs your 4Runner. Sounds like a recipe for an adventurous haul, to say the least!

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “It has about a foot longer distance from tow ball to truck axle”

            I hadn’t considered that, good point. I guess I’m moreso taking issue with the literal interpretation of “unusable” to tow. I’m sure it would do nicely with 3k lb or so with that diesel motor, and what I assume is a fairly stiff leaf pack. But certainly max capacity would be a very careful, plodding kind of effort.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Taking issue with people using literal terms hyperbolically? Hey, that’s _my_ job!

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            I’d agree the rear overhang on that is borderline ridiculous. How well and safely a vehicle tows has a lot to do with the distance from the ball hitch to the rear axle.

            My short wheel based ’97 2DR Tahoe towed both my 23′ and 25′ boats like a dream because the rear overhang was so small. Someone tried to tell me I would have all kinds of sway issues when I bought it. They were dead wrong!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Sounds like a twin to mine, gtem. How many spark plugs? What color? Mine’s white with the x-type twin-ignition system on the 4. Decent bottom-end torque but runs out of wind quickly and by no means a speed demon.

      She will spin the back wheels though, if you pop the clutch quickly enough.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Yep the 8-plug 2.3L SOHC Lima. It’s way overdue for a t-belt, thankfully a non-interference motor. Mine’s “Vermillion Red,” I made a brief effort to actually find a can of correctly matching paint at Autozone and Meijer, before realizing that I was doing it all wrong and grabbed a $3.50 can of red Rustoleum (which actually matches remarkably well). And yes the Twin-I-Beam front suspension. Makes a bit of racket over really big bumps, I’ll replace the shocks and we’ll see where that gets me. It’s a crude setup, but its saving grace is that the balljoints are extremely understressed, rarely if ever can they be abused to the point of a balljoint popping out like the IFS on my 4Runner, for example. I’m loving how cheap and available parts are. I put together an order on Rockauto for a full set of shocks (Motorcraft OEM in front, Monroe air-adjustable kit out back), and a full Gates timing belt+tensioner+water pump, and top and bottom rad hoses. The total added up to $197. Also needs a new filler neck ($43), fuel tank sending unit gauge-float (whole sending unit is about $70), and ultimately a new windshield (crack across the line of sight). Nothing that keeps me from using it though, just some “as I get to it” kind of stuff.

        Like I said it’s super fun to mosey along in, somewhat gruff 8 valve soundtrack, working the gear shift, bouncing along. I can put on the local latin radio station and drive through the poorer urban parts of town and I’m transported back to my time in Mexico. So part of the motivation behind buying it is strictly nostalgic.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Whereas for me it’s my primary (and only) pickup truck. Lots of fun to drive though I’m strongly considering a custom paint job and a few small modifications. Nothing elaborate, but think I want to make it look like a baby F-150 with the two-tone paint (darker hood and rockers with a lighter waistline.) Thinking either medium-brown metallic with beige or burnt umber with pumpkin. The brown/beige was definitely a Ford schema but I like all things fox (not Fox, as in network) and the orange scheme would play to that.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      gte,
      The new version of the Triton had its bed extended. If you look at a 2008 model you’ll see how short the bed was.

      This vehicle is relatively popular with the daily driving owners.

      You will not see many of these towing or for that matter used offroad. Motoring writers have stated they are good offroad. When towing they are not used for heavy loads.

      They are the cheapest of the Japanese pickups, you can generally find a mid speec diesel crew cab Triton in the mid 30s (mid20s US) in Australia and can wheel and deal a better price.

      The pucture used by TTAC us an incorrect representarion of what the next Triton will be. I think this has thrown off a few people.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “…they are not used for heavy loads.”

        Right except they’re rated for way more than they can handle. Obviously you can legally and easily cross into the dangerous zone, and who’s gonna stop you???

        It looks downright freaky with a steel tray, and ready for “work”!

        youtube.com/watch?v=Jir-qFoeHq4

        Yeah load that baby with a pallet of cinder blocks back there. Or straw bails. The crash video would go viral!!!

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          *bales. And straw bales are the lightest of all baled commodities, only about 35-40 lbs. per 18x14x30something” bale. Now, second- or third-cutting alfalfa, that’s heavy.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I think this is more about the world market than the US. I don’t understand why Nissan doesn’t just pull the plug on Mitsubishi here; unless there is some real financial wizardry going on in Mitsu’s production lines that make those products profitable, there’s just no point in continuing to sell them in the US.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    “While the Red Diamonds’ Raider filled a ten year gap…”

    Even then, it was just a workup of a Dakota, built right in Michigan. Not much Mitsubishi about it.


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