Chrysler/Nissan/Chery/Suzuki/Mitsubishi Inbreeding Explained

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
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chrysler nissan chery suzuki mitsubishi inbreeding explained

Let's recap. Chrysler builds pickup trucks for Mitsubishi. Chery is working on a U.S.-market subcompact for Chrysler. Chrysler is selling a rebadged Chery as a Dodge in Mexico. Volkswagen is selling Chrysler-built minivans in the U.S. Nissan is building small trucks for Suzuki to sell in the U.S. and Versas to be sold as Chryslers in Brazil. Chrysler has been talking with Great Wall Motors in China about something. Now, just in case all these relationships aren't confusing enough, The Detroit Free Press reports that Chrysler and Nissan announced Chrysler will build a version of the Ram pickup in Mexico for Nissan to sell in the U.S. In return, Nissan will build a North American-bound small car in Japan for Chrysler. In a way, all this makes sense, particularly the Chrysler-Nissan deals. After all, Chrysler has a well-established presence in the truck and van market while Nissan and Chery specialize in small cars. All they're doing is capitalizing on each other's strengths. However, the more Nissan and Chrysler snuggle-up together, the more it seems that Nissan is testing the waters for establishing an American partner– something Carlos Ghosn has promised, eventually. Don't be surprised if in the next few years you hear that Chrysler's building vans for Nissan or that Nissan's supplying Altima drivetrain components for the Sebring/Avenger. And when Cerberus starts the flip 'n strip with Chrysler, Nissan will be right there to pick up the pieces. You heard it here first.

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4 of 13 comments
  • John R John R on Apr 15, 2008

    Par for the course. Nissan won't be the only ones picking up the pieces.

  • Menno Menno on Apr 15, 2008

    Personally, I think that the only way that Mitsubishi and Suzuki are going to actually survive the probable upcoming global economic downturn, would be to merge and use the strengths of both to make a stronger union. Utilize the Suzuki name worldwide (top selling marque in Japan, believe it or not, and India too! - India is obviously one of the world's fastest growing markets - Suzuki has 55% market share), and lose the Mitsubishi brand but not their model lines (and keep the Mitsubishi Bank and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in the partial ownership loop, as they are with Mitsubishi Motors now). In fact, Mitsubishi are on a platform sharing deal with Peugeot-Citroen, and given the possibilities of an economic downturn in Europe increasing with the US dollar/banking/financial debacle now unravelling, PSA might be smart to tie up with Mitsubishi and Suzuki. Suzuki USA would have what were Suzuki and Mitsubishi dealerships, and could market the upcoming Swift, the SX4, the Lancer (move production to the states), the Evo, the Outlander (move production to the states), the Grand Vitara (still selling moderately well considering it's an SUV), the Endeavor (if it makes sense to continue it in Illinois), the upcoming new luxury Kizashi (replacing the Galant) and develop a new crossover for US production (based on one of the Kizashi CUV show cars?) and build it in the states. Retain the Nissan built Suzuki Equator. Sell off or close the CAMI plant, as the Suzuki XL7 is a loser on the market. Suzuki are already planning to drop the Daewoo built stuff in the US, so there is an empty spot in their line-up soon for Lancer. Plus, motorcycles and outboard motors, as now. Then, market the heck out of all of them with monies gained from selling Mitsubishi Motors' hyper-valuable Tokyo HQ and moving operations to Suzuki's HQ elsewhere in Japan. Later, add the (ex-Mitsubishi) i in electric form for sale in the states, and add hybrids and diesels, maybe even CNG cars (from India). Suzuki could assimilate Mitsubishi (just as Prince was absorbed into Datsun/Nissan in 1967) and capitalize on the strengths of both. And possibly even survive.

  • Windswords Windswords on Apr 15, 2008

    Domestic Hearse, Cargo management systems, cubbies, laptop-sized consoles, were pioneered by the original Ram. I'm sure by now Ford and Chevy have similar offerings. Dodge has introduced heavy duty version of the Ram in 4500 and 5500 grades. They will not get the new sheet metal of the half-ton this fall, which leads me to believe their more different from the half ton version than it would appear. Could Nissan be looking for a version of this for themselves or do they want to go with even larger trucks?

  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Apr 15, 2008

    @veefiddy windswords - I believe the Versa (Nissan) is a Megrane (Migraine?) Renault. The Versa is not related to the Megane at all. It's loosely based on an extended version of the last-generation Clio platform, like the ultra-cheap Dacia Logan. Side note: The Versa was just introduced on the European market. From the reviews I read about it, it doesn't seem to be very competitive for the price.