By on October 20, 2016

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi has officially tied the knot with its savior, making Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn the only automotive executive in the world (and possibly the galaxy) to head three companies.

The $2.29 billion deal gives Ghosn’s Renault-Nissan alliance a 34 percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi — a financial lifeline for the struggling, scandal-plagued automaker. Already, the company’s new chairman (and demoted former chair) have big, big plans for the Mirage maker.

Nissan-sized plans.

In addition to Ghosn plunking himself in the driver’s seat, three Nissan executives join Mitsubishi’s 11-member board. Trevor Mann, Nissan’s former chief performance officer, is now the new CEO. The automaker’s very apologetic former chairman and president, Osamu Masuko, keeps his “president” title, but nothing else.

Of course, all of this job shuffling still needs the green light from Mitsu shareholders. That should come in December.

What does the entry into the Alliance mean for Mitsubishi? The world, apparently. Earlier this month, Ghosn said the biggest impact would be felt in America. By tapping into Renault-Nissan’s engineering prowess and adopting its platforms and engines, the impact on Mitsubishi will be “massive,” he claimed.

As Ghosn dreams up the best way to inject new product life into Mitsubishi, Masuko’s mind is on reputation and all-important finances. In a statement, the company president claims the deal will “rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies,” with savings beginning right off the bat.

He expects to realize nearly a quarter-billion dollars in savings (“synergies” in executive speak) next year alone, and predicts a profit margin boost of five percent in the next three years. Speaking at the announcement, Masuko said he wants the brand to reach where Nissan is today. Or try to, at least.

The deal’s benefits aren’t Mitsubishi’s alone. Nissan, which lags in the hybrid technology department, gains its new partner’s advanced plug-in hybrid system, which Ghosn says will become the standard of the alliance. That system is at the heart of the company’s Outlander PHEV, a wildly popular model in Europe that’s on a very slow boat to the U.S.

Nissan also plans to make inroads in underperforming markets, including southeast Asia, where a rebadged Mitsubishi minivan will soon go on sale.

[Source: Automotive News Europe] [Image: Mitsubishi Motors]

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14 Comments on “Ghosn Puts on Third ‘Mr. Chairman’ Hat as Nissan Officially Takes Control of Mitsubishi...”

  • avatar

    I don’t know why Nissan wouldn’t just stick a proverbial fork in Mitsubishi USA, and service warranty commitments out of Nissan dealerships. Does the brand have any value left at all here? I can see that apparently his plan is to reinvigorate the brand here, but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why.

    Plunder the Mitsubishi worldwide product lineup for what it does well, and discard the rest, along with the brand. (Note: I know Mitsubishi does well in some other places… not suggesting it be killed off there.)

    • 0 avatar
      Car Guy

      That’s my thought. Mitsubish sells about a million cars globally and the USA is a minor player (< 10%) in the overall bottom line. Mitsubishi has a good presence in the Asian micro car market but just about everything else would overlap with the existing Nissan-Renault lineup. I don't know what Mitsubishi does anymore in the USA and I agree – fork time……

  • avatar

    “What does the entry into the Alliance mean for Mitsubishi? The world, apparently.”

    The World is Yours.

  • avatar

    should we expect return of the Galant in form of Altima?

  • avatar

    Renault Alliance. That worked well.

    French Leyland. Aggregate another 3rd tier brand so the credit impaired can do one stop shopping.

  • avatar

    ” making Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn the only automotive executive in the world (and possibly the galaxy) to head three companies.”
    This seems to be a bit of a stretch, the galaxy is pretty big. You should probably keep to a few of the closest solar systems.

    *In best Dad voice* “You know if I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”

  • avatar

    So what happened to the Mitsubishi Death Watch? They’re pretty much done by now, just a redundant piece of Nissan and will probably just be absorbed.

  • avatar

    What happens to Mitsubishi depends on how the Nissan and Mitsu kieretsu’s mesh. Renault-Nissan bought into Mitsu for its global (outside of the US market) reach in small cars. Ghosn might just keep Mitsu in the American market, but limit its offerings to mostly subcompact sedans and hatches imported from Japan, while reserving larger models with bigger margins to the Nissan lineup.

  • avatar

    So, did they buy Mitsubishi Motors from Mitsubishi or Mitsubishi? There is a huge difference.

  • avatar

    2018 Starion!!!

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