By on October 9, 2016

1993 Mitsubishi Diamante wagon, Image: © 2015 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

Carlos Ghosn, the synergizing executive that Sergio Marchionne only wishes he could be, isn’t mincing words when it comes to Nissan’s plans for fledgling automaker Mitsubishi.

According to the Renault-Nissan top boss, the deal between Nissan and Mitsubishi is “massive.”

Speaking with Automotive News, Ghosn stated his intention to absorb Mitsubishi into the Alliance by exploiting all potential areas the two companies can work together.

“We will have to dig more in the U.S.,” he told Automotive News. “But when you talk about purchasing, engineering, platforms, engines, plug-in hybrids — it’s massive.”

Considering the lack of product overlap between the two companies in the U.S. and that both brands see electrification as the way forward, the deal could help both Mitsubishi and Nissan round out their product lineups.

No details are known at this time, but Ghosn said he’ll make his plans for the two companies crystal clear once the deal is formally announced.

“The day we announce the deal, we’re going to tell you exactly what we’re going to do together. And it’s massive. It’s massive between Mitsubishi and Nissan,” he said.

In 2013, Mitsubishi and Renault-Samsung agreed to a deal where Mitsubishi would sell sedans built in Korea by Renault-Samsung, badge-engineered as Mitsubishis for North America. That deal was cancelled shortly over a year later after producing zero cars.

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58 Comments on “Ghosn: ‘Massive’ Plans for Mitsubishi-Nissan Alliance in US...”


  • avatar
    pragmatic

    Its HUGE!!!

    Lack of Mitsubishi overlap?? With the number of cars Mitsubishi sells how could they overlap anybody?

  • avatar
    threeer

    Yuge I tell ya, YUGE!!! But seriously, bring us the new Micra…not that it will sell in any real numbers in America, but I like it!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I saw a Micra in person when I visited Scotland a few years ago.

      It was actually like the original Volkswagen Beetle in every way (except its appearance).

      It’s a car that should exist. I don’t actually want one (I’m in a minivan stage-of-life), but it should exist.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I guess that we will see a lot of re-badged Nissan products here, so what is the point of this? Could it also mean the end of Datsun?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Since when is Mitsubishi a “fledgling” automaker? They’ve been at it for a while now. Due to poor management in the 90’s and 00’s their fortunes in the US have diminished, but other parts of the world, they do OK.

    I wonder how all of this stuff plays out with regard to Japanese anti-trust laws, or maybe the Japanese don’t have any, at least in the manner we have here in the US.

    Mitsubishi was once a rather imaginative and innovative car manufacturer, but their financial troubles have really hammered them. I see some of that imaginative spirit showing up in the iMiev, but for US conditions, the car isn’t a serious BEV contender. The other cars are just average and the CUVs are not making much of a dent in the market. One could argue that the CUV market is so huge that everyone should be able to play in it, but I think their reputation precedes them and they get ignored. They do have one bright spot in the Mirage, maybe they can build off of that, I don’t know.

    I guess we’ll see what Mr. Ghosn has in mind. In my estimation Nissan isn’t really on fire here in the US and Renault is nowhere near returning. At least Sergio can say he re-launched Fiat in the US (however successfully is debatable), something that Carlos can’t say about Renault. As soon as I can go down to my local dealership and purchase a Megane turbo, I will be impressed. I *can* buy any number of Fiat 500 Abarths today, all day.

    The US may no longer be the biggest market for automobiles, but we are still the toughest. If you don’t play here, you aren’t playing in the richest market. Just ask any number of Eastern European, Indian or Chinese automakers. No Mahindras, no Skodas, no Cherys are roaming the streets of the US. And yes, I’m fully aware that Volvo is owned by the Chinese, JLR is owned by the Indians, etc. I’m speaking of companies that didn’t come to the US through acquisitions.

    I’m no fan of Sergio, but FCA is here. I hope that Mitsubishi is able to redevelop their innovative side, but I have my doubts.

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      They no longer have a midsize sedan and soon no compact either, only a crappy subcompact the no one takes seriously, they need a lot of capital and ingenuity to get back in the game.

      • 0 avatar
        statikboy

        I don’t know, I’d say they sell an excellent subcompact that doesn’t appeal to enthusiasts.

        The Mirage is possibly the only true economy car currently for sale in the North American market. Its similarly priced contemporaries don’t compete on fuel economy and anything else that is as efficient, or more so, is at least twice its price, therefore not economical.

        Also, keep in mind it is in the ‘A’ segment, a size smaller than the Fits and Sonics of the world, playing against only Micra and Spark. The 500 and various Mini products are all to be had at a premium and the ForTwo is a size down again and also more money.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          ” Its similarly priced contemporaries don’t compete on fuel economy and anything else that is as efficient, or more so, is at least twice its price, therefore not economical.”

          So, the Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost is TWICE as expensive as the ugly little Mirage which has no turbo but gets worse MPG?

          You don’t have to be an enthusiast to see that many subcompact cars such as Fiesta, Sonic, Fit and Versa are twice the cars the Mirage is for not a lot more coin.

          The only reason to choose a Mirage is if the Ford, Honda or even Nissan and Chevy dealers turned down your credit applications.

          Yes, there are some people with stellar credit and a huge portfolio who buy a Mirage because its just “perfect” for them. They would be driving a Gremlin if this were the 1970s and a Hyundai Excel if the 1980s. Choosing a terrible new car on purpose isn’t reason enough to elevate that car to “good” status.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          While I think the Mirage is a nice little car, if you start working the options page, it quickly adds up. Several months back, one of my daughters was considering one of these for a commuter car. But the reality was by the time you option-up one of these cars to their competitors’ (i.e. Chevy Spark) levels, the list price is almost equal.

          So here’s the real question: In my area, do we buy a car from a company that has a weak distribution network and possibly difficult to get financing and insurance applied to? Or do we get something from big bad GM which we can use our supplier family discount, probably easy-to-get financing and insurance and a distribution network that has five Chevy dealers for every Mitsu dealer in our area? I love an underdog, but when it’s your progeny behind the wheel, you want something they can rely upon.

          FWIW, in the end she decided to stick with her old car. Mostly, she didn’t want car payments and her school system offered her a job closer to her apartment.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      >Since when is Mitsubishi a “fledgling” automaker?

      Banzai!

      mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/images/company/history/model-a-team.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @geozinger
      European market would be the toughest to get into for US vehicles. Cadillacs, Corvettes,Lincolns and US Pickups you can if you see any on one hand

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Damn, it’s almost as though those vehicles weren’t designed for the European market.

        Is that why Kei cars sell so poorly outside Japan? And cars with one airbag only sell in India and Russia and the like? And how easy is it to sell a Falcon Ute in France?

        I think you stumbled on to something big here! Vehicles designed for specific needs in specific markets can be a tough sell elsewhere. Whoda thunk it?

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N
          That is why all markets are ” tough” if you are trying to sell something that was not designed for that market, then you struggle @geozinger comments were stating the obvious

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          John,
          I think you better do a little research.

          Mitsu Outlanders are sold as Pugs in the EU. The Triton is “common” in France in the midsize market.

          Mitsu doesn’t just manufacture tiny vehicles. The Pajero is quite common. This is bigger than most CUVs and cars/sedans sold in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaMaximaCulpa

          Paradoxically, or not, the only really desirable US cars in Europe are the ones that don’t give a toss about Europe and is unapologetically American. The mustang is a smash hit, the corvette is a “grey market hit” (and all claims about “European handling and refinement” coming from GM is not taken at face value by anyone), the full size pickups are also popular and selling for CRAZY money. The poor Non-Escalade Cadillacs are all duds, the Chevrolet (yes it was a Chevy but with the wrong logo on the steering wheel) Alero was a laughing stock as almost anything else Chevy has tried moving through official channels.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Meamaximaculpa,
            The only US car that has any chance is the new Mustang. Even then it was designed with the global market in mind.

            Any vehicle oozing Americana are just collectanles by a few.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        RobertRyan,
        The US is not the toughest market. Only with pickups, ect, due to protection.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      geozinger,
      Most of what you’ve written is relatively accurate.

      I think you will find Mitsu and Nissan do share platforms and production already. The Arab/Gulf nations and SE Asia is where this is occurring.

      They also share commercial platforms and even production lines. The Navara and Triton share the the same line even though they are completely different vehicles. The sharing has even affected the Navara’s size. The Triton is the smallest midsize pickup on our market. The new Navara shrunk marginally to facilitate ease of production.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Overlap? Sure – not in product but in targeting credit-impaired customers.

    Mitsubishi impressively expanded their market share by selling to those who had nowhere else to go and when the party stopped they crashed and burned. Nissan has picked up that particular baton and run with it.

    Works until it doesn’t. Renault saved Nissan from bankruptcy not so long ago and Nissan’s risky strategy may mean deja vu all over again.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    No, no, no; the “massive news” is that Nissan will come up with a new version of the Datsun 620. Not big enough to load a sheet of drywall, a Mitsubishi-sourced engine that will barely power it when loaded with four bags of mulch and; most importantly! able to fit in a garage/driveway built to fit a Model T! They’ll sell 100’s, I tell ya! Sadly this 620 replacement will be built without the least regard to any Australian laws or European headlight laws.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @el scotto
      What they are going to do with the Nisson Triton outside the US is another question. Triton is the third best selling Pickup in Australia beating their Navara in sales

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      el scotto,
      Don’t forget the Ren’o connection. There are Nissans running around with BMW emgines.

      LDTs are shared by Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi.

      Even cars are shared by Nissan and Mitsu.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Ouch, they’re sparse, even in some major metro areas:

    http://www.mitsubishicars.com/dealers

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Mitsubishi Trucks which build Class 8 semis has nothing to do with Mitsubishi Cars. They are owned by Mercedes( Daimler)

  • avatar
    gasser

    I don’t get it. What does Mitsubishi offer to Nissan?
    Local factories to expand production? A hoard of cash?? Some amazing platforms? A big dealer network? Brand equity? A short cut to Chapter 11?

  • avatar
    ttacfan

    Last time a Mitsubishi was on my shopping list was back in ’08. They were offering 10 years / 100K miles warranty. Do they still do that? I’d consider a Mitsu-branded Sentra with 10 years / 100K miles warranty when my daughters reach driving age.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    The word ‘fledgling’ is misused in this article.
    The current Mirage is a backward step from the old one which was just a hatchback version of the Lancer.
    Mitsubishi is significant in Australia for the Pajero. It is a real, off-road capable SUV like the Landcruiser and Patrol. None of these cars are successful in the US because most Americans never see rough road conditions.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Ghosn’s vision here is impressive. Last year I would not have dreamed of such a pairing.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    So instead of buying a car at a Mitsubishi dealership, which is a half a step above a “Buy Here, Pay Here” used-car lot…

    You can buy a Mitsubishi at a Nissan dealer, which is a half a step above a “We Finance Anybody!” used-car lot.

    I’m indifferent, as you won’t see me at either.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      And as with Korean cars why pay at least 95% Toyonda money for B-team product and even worse resale value?

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You can get the Korean (and Nissan/Mitsubishi) models for a lot less than 95%. Resale doesn’t matter for people whose only question is, “How much NEW car can I get for THIS payment?”

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I don’t understand the put-downs of mfrs like Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Kia (for instance) – not because of product, but because of their customers.

      I have very good credit, and have no problem visiting any of those places. It’s the supposedly high-end dealers I’d feel uncomfortable in.

  • avatar
    MeaMaximaCulpa

    Ah the Mitsubishi conundrum, except the L200 and the outlander PHEV only imigrants – from parts of the world where IED-maker is a viable career path – and pensioners buys Mitsubishis in Sweden. Having been in a Mitsubishi station wagon – lancer? – that was supposedly, without it showing in the fit and finish department, built after the fall of the Soviet Union I can see why. Only people who suffered through the Great Depression, or who’s previous transport was a donkey that was Hellfired by a predator drone, would even dream of buying a Mitsubishi.

  • avatar

    Doesn’t Mitsubishi also make rockets no one wants to buy except of Japanese Government which already mired in a huge debt so I can assume has a subprime credit rating?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which makes missiles has nothing whatsoever to do with Mitsubishi Motors. The details of enormous Japanese keiretsu (and the similar Korean chaebol) are really complicated.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You can say that again! Even Mitsubishi Motors is a kind of federation of multiple partners. Those you think of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a huge unitary outfit that built the Zero and half the Japanese Navy are thinking only of a short period in WW2 under the War Party ruled by Tojo in the war years. Even then it was a fairly loose federation of companies working together under the gun.

        Honda and Toyota are somewhat similar in their interlocking partnerships, but are more efficient because they’re still ruled by founding families. In short, Japanese industrialization is nothing like free-wheeling American style capitalism. We never went through a feudal social system, so there are no vestiges of it here.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I wonder if part of the plans involve simply shutting down the Mitsubishi dealer network, and replacing some Nissans with their Mitsubishi counterparts.

    I don’t really see any great advantage to going through all the trouble to re-badge some Nissans so they can be sold in the handful of tiny low-volume Mitsubishi dealerships. (The one nearest me, in a pretty substantial metro area, is a half-hour drive. The “service department” is a couple of bays carved out of a nearby tire shop.)

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Iz dat sum Diamante in the photo??? :o And an older Galant in the background it seems.


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