By on November 5, 2013

Renault_Latitude_Initiale_dCi_175_FAP_Automatik_–_Frontansicht,_25._Februar_2012,_Düsseldorf

Renault will be returning to the United States, but not with Meganes or Kangoos sold under the diamond brand. Instead, the Renault-derived products will be variants of jointly-developed Renault Samsung cars sold under the Mitsubishi brand, as part of a new alliance between Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi.

First up will be a D-segment sedan for the United States and Canada to be built in Korea at the Renault-Samsung plant, similar to the Latitude, shown above. A C-segment sedan will also be next, but sales and production locations have yet to be determined. Also under development is a global kei car that will include an EV variant.

The two new sedans will ostensibly serve as replacements for the Galant and the Lancer. The Galant has not had a replacement since it’s discontinuation in the United States, while the Lancer lags behind its competitors and is long overdue for a replacement.

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57 Comments on “Mitsubishi To Sell Renault Cars Under New Alliance...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Interesting.

    youtube.com/watch?v=bWnl5iB3Cdk

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Well, it couldn’t hurt. Mitsubishi is sadly STILL featuring the 2012 Galant and 2012 i-MiEV on their CURRENT website (Mitsubishicars.com), as though they are new models! They need these new sedans stat.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Mitsubishi is in an interesting position. The company was never a serious player and has been effectively left to die on the vine in the US for many years. On one hand you have a dealer network/gov’t licensing set up to move product, but you have no product. Even if you did have product, who wants to buy a Mitsubishi when there are literally a dozen brands to choose from who will sell you something similar? You can get FWD C or D segment anywhere seems like alot of risk for not much reward other than to feed the dealer network you’ve starved for so long. If I were on the board, I would take the Mitsubishi brand into a specialty car direction. If the finance folks convinced me it was wise to sell rebadged Renaults I’d still do it, but I would focus my Mitsu R&D money (assuming there is any) on specialty/niche items.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    This worked so well for AMC, so I see no reason for the magic to not repeat itself.

    Bye bye, Mitsubishi. You’ll almost be missed.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    It’s a confusing motoring world we live in today. We get to buy a Mitsubishi Renault Samsung Nissan.
    I hope this works out for Mitsubishi, Nissan has done well with Renault and that includes having a fairly bizarre model line up.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I recall when this was the rumored product that Roger Penske was going to use to revamp Saturn. … Renaults made by Samsung in South Korea. So one wonders, was it his idea and they ran with it? Or was it his idea and they had already started talking about it and told him to go away?

    Or was it something that occurred in parallel universes without any knowledge of either party knowing about either party? Or was it somebody at Mitsubishi said, “Hey, that’s so crazy it just might work.”

    I don’t have a problem with it. The Alliance and Encore were made in Kenosha. The Encore, which is the forgotten hatchback version of the Alliance, was cushy and soft. It wasn’t particularly sporty or engaging. And as we know, American car franchises have consistently never been able to sell a “captive import.”

    Captive import meaning, “Car of imported origins being sold on US dealers’ lots as an import and sub-brand.”

    • 0 avatar
      Mitsu_fan

      Well, that tie up, the Samsung/Saturn-Penske deal actually got the SM5 federalized for US sale. So literally, all Mitsubishi would have to invest in is the styling if they were to alter it, and put badges on it and ship them here.

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    How many bizarre alliances is that now for Mitsubishi? Hyundai, Chrysler, Smart, Volvo, PSA, Renault…… have I missed any?

    It’s no wonder they find it hard to make a place for themselves in this world.

  • avatar
    strafer

    Talk about full circle, South Korea got it’s start in auto manufacturing with leftover Mitsubishi stuff.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Samsung cars are created on Renault-Nissan platforms already. Look up the SM5, and you’ll see the Altima resemblance. The SM7 is quite large, but is also on the Altima platform I believe. Engines and parts are shared as well.

    So I don’t see why we need a Mitsu branded Samsung-Nissan-Renault product line. They won’t be much different, and will probably cost the same as a Nissan, which has a far superior and more trusted badge.

    Give up on the US, Mitsu. You’ve had it.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      No cvt, same platform as nissan, discounts to be had at mitsu dealer. How is this a bad thing?

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Unlike Suzuki, Mitsubishi has an assembly plant here (Normal, IL), they won’t give up without a fight because it will cost them a HUGE amount of money to shutter the assembly operations here. It’s not like shutting just the dealer network down like Suzuki did. Their strategy of assembling CUV’s (Outlander Sport) for the North American market and export markets, while selling rebadged Renault/Samsung sedans here seems sound and the most cost effective, and gives the dealer body fresh product to sell with minimal investment.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Now if they could somehow get Chrysler/Fiat involved so we could add a Detroit and Italian element. Mercedes or Audi could make the hood ornament. Either Fisker or Tesla could add the batteries.

    What could go wrong?

  • avatar
    Onus

    Sounds good to me.

    Mitsubishi doesn’t have to invest in a midsize car platform that wont sell in most of its important markets, and they flesh out their produce portfolio. With cars from Korea being covered under the recent free trade agreement they are golden. Renault needs to get the plant more utilized. Seems they are having issues selling enough to keep it open.

    Seems a win win to me.

  • avatar
    Acd

    A company that can barely sell cars is now going to sell cars for company that hasn’t been able to sell cars in the US for 25 years. This should be interesting………

  • avatar
    Pebble

    1. Dammit! I want real Renaults sold as Renaults by a Renault dealer. This doesn’t count.

    2. If Mitsubishi were to go away in North America like Suzuki did, my wife would be p*i*s*s*e*d. She loves her Outlander to death and at this point would not want to drive anything by another manufacturer.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The number of comments on this thread will likely exceed annual sales.

  • avatar
    morbo

    With Suzuki dead, Isuzu dead, Saab dead, Hummer/Pontiac/Saturn/Olsmobile/Geo dead, Mercury dead, Plymouth/AMC/Eagle dead, Suburu stabilized as a psuedo-Toyota sub brand, Mitsubishi apparently stabilizing as a captive importer coupled with Mitsu corporates pride/stubborness/infinite cash to burn, the DeathWatch eye must now turn to Mazda.

    Unless Fiatsler buys them. Marchionne knows good, undervalued engineering.

  • avatar
    matador

    Wait… You can still buy a new Mitsubishi?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    If I had $10 million invested in a Nissan franchise, I’d be pissed at this brand dilution.

  • avatar

    Note that Mitsu and Nissan already have a couple of alliances going: rebadging Infi M and joint kei-car. Since Renault and Nissan are basically one thing nowadays, it probably helped to engineer thi alliance.

  • avatar
    Wscott97

    My first car was a 1989 Gallant and a few times I almost bought an Eclipse. I have a soft spot for Mitsubishi and I would love for them to turn around. I went to the LA auto show and wanted to check out the Mitsubishi stage, it was in the far back corner and I was the only person there. It felt like a detention room. Even the car models were just sitting there bored.
    In order for them to turn back around they need to bring back a sporty new ellipse and another affordable 2 door sporty car for the young at heart. (something other companies don’t have) Then bring back the basic mid side car when their reputation isn’t so tarnished.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I bought a used 1989 Gallant that one of my kids used all through High School and college. It never gave us any trouble, always started and ran. It had a few dings on it because it was used when we bought it but it ran fine.

      Mitsubishi just doesn’t enjoy the popularity of Toyota, Honda and Nissan and is rarely considered for new-purchase unless there is a dealership nearby.

      And parts are hard to come by and expensive, if you should ever need them. I went looking for a passenger-side mirror for the ’89 we had and could not find one at any junkyard. No junkyard had an ’89 Mitsubishi. They were that scarce. I ended up having to buy an aftermarket mirror and installing it.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    I hope they’re decent, ’cause I’m sure I’ll be renting a few…

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      I live on an urban/suburban transition line, with a DollarThrifty off airport rental lot near my apt. building. They’ve more or less cycled all the Galants out. Avenger/200, Camry, Sonata, Elantra, Old Corolla, and surprisingly new Fusion are the current rental hotness.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    This is going to be interesting….an alliance(pardon the pun)between a company that has a very hard time selling automobiles in the United States and a company known for mediocre products that pulled out of the American market 26 years ago. Hopefully Mitsubishi will make no absolutely no reference to the Renault heritage. All somebody has to do is google Renault Alliance and it’s likely they won’t want to get close to one of these vehicles. Just my opinion after a less than stellar experience with a Renault product.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      My guess is that Renault has been inspired by Fiat’s return to the US. If Fix-It-Again-Tony can make a comeback, why can’t the cheese-eating surrender-monkeys?

      Of course, the jury’s still out as to whether Fiat’s return to the US has really been a success or not.

  • avatar
    George B

    My first reaction is the US-South Korea free trade agreement that went into effect in 2012 helps make this possible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade_agreement_between_the_United_States_of_America_and_the_Republic_of_Korea

    Wonder how they explained the potential competition from Mitsubishi to Nissan dealers?

    • 0 avatar
      righteousball

      The whole reason they’re selling Samsung-Renaults and not straight-up Nissans is (in theory) to avoid the potential competition you mentioned.

      20 years ago a deal like this would’ve been done by providing a JDM variant of the same car being sold (e.g. Toyota Sprinter was chosen to become the Geo Prizm, so that Geo wasn’t just getting a Corolla), but today the Japanese have greatly consolidated their products at home, so they go abroad.

      Nissan is trying to up the utilization rate of the Latitude, so to speak, to recoup more of the money spent making it different from the Altima/Teana. This serves Renault who needs a large sedan but has never convinced the non-Francophone world it’s a viable option; it probably fulfills some sort of promise they may have made to deliver “original” models for Samsung that are not str8-up assemble jobs; and it’s a larger sedan they can send to Russia and China and now the US.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I predicted Renault Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi will join up.

    It seems to be getting closer to that point.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I wish they would sell the Mexican -market Renault Trafic ( at least I think that ‘s what the badging said ) that I saw on the freeway in Houston today . Very boxy cargo bay , ” distinctive “styling with odd lump in the roof and large vent-windows similar to Euro version Fiat commercials . Looked like it was sized between a Ford Transit and an Econoline . Give me one with a stick.

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