PSA And Mitsubishi Call Off Tie-Up
Last December, France’s PSA group and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors seemed to get really tight (and set off the memorable TTAC series of shibari illustrations.)
Something must have happened during their courtship. The main players met on neutral ground at the Geneva auto show and called off the engagement.
Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko and PSA Peugeot Citroen Chief Executive Philippe Varin met in Geneva, only to announce later that there will be no capital alliance between PSA and Mitsubishi, as the The Nikkei [sub] reports.
What drove them apart? Who knows. Their joint statement says “under the current business circumstances the capital alliance is unrealistic.” Whatever that means.
The shibari ropes will be coiled up nicely and stowed away. However the two parties will stay in loose connection. According to the Nikkei, “they will continue talks to expand the scope of their business cooperation.” Whatever that means.
Maybe something was lost in translation. Someone said in Japanese “Let’s get real tight.” And it came across as “Our relationship is on the ropes.”
Hmmm, looking at the packaging on that rope I suspect it's not intended for tying down tarpaulins.
This is news. Mitsubishi needed Peugeot group more than the other way around at first glance, but then again, Peugeot is not so strong in the fast growing Asian area, whereas at least Mitsubishi has a presence in India with Hindustan (in the same way that Suzuki has a presence there with Maruti). India is likely to be a very high growth area, along with China (which may stumble - they've got "too much" US debt and are now realizing the folly of their error). Mitsubishi Bank and Heavy Industries ("ma and pa"), to whom Mitsubishi Motors went with begging bowl ("can I come back home and move into the basement after the divorce with Mercedes?") have probably got more say in this than anyone realizes. But I'm only GUESSING here. Mitsubishi isn't quite strong enough to survive well on their own, but are regarded as a good automaker and still are (barely) capable of developing a full line of cars, and in fact, were so well thought of by Chrysler (also an ex-partner) that Chrysler utilized much Mitsubishi technology in developing their current C-and-D sized cars (which are disasterously bad, while the Mitsubishi versions are far better - but that's what happens when you are in the middle of a joint venture while there is a nasty divorce going on....) Mitsubishi are reasonbly strong in China with multiple small partners, and reasonably strong in India, and reasonably strong in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Europe. Like Volkswagen, they are somewhat weak in North America, but unlike Volkswagen, they have a US factory in operation right now... A very nice "future concept" Galant was shown a couple of years ago, if Mitsubishi could develop this car and bring it to market, it might help a lot. The Lancer and EVO are obviously well thought of as is the Outlander small SUV. Even the Eclipse has a small but steady following. Then there is the all important future niche market where Mitsubishi are one of the major players - the viable small city electric car, which is probably why Peugeot was interested in them. Now that Peugeot has the contract with Mitsubishi to supply them with a version of this car, they've called off the marriage. See what happens when you allow him into the bedroom before you get both rings on the finger and the marriage license signed, Mitsubishi?
Thierry Peugeot (30% PSA shareholder) wanted to get into a bit of automotive domination, but found out that his assets weren't big enough to make an irresistible proposition.