Mitsubishi and Nissan Pairing Up On New Electric and Hybrids for U.S. Market

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Nissan and Mitsubishi have long existed side-by-side in the weird tri-automaker alliance that also includes the French company Renault. Even so, the two have never collaborated on a vehicle for the U.S. market, though that could be about to change. Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida announced that the pair would share vehicle tech and design knowledge to create a handful of new vehicles for American buyers.

Mitsubishi will gain Nissan’s EV expertise to launch a new electric model, while Nissan will lean on its partner for help with a new hybrid vehicle. At the same time, the duo will work together on a jointly developed pickup truck to be built in Mexico. Automotive News pointed out that the automakers are considering electric and hybrid variants at this time and said that the one-ton model could be the next-gen replacement for the Nissan Frontier.

Neither company is in a particularly strong position in the U.S., so this move could provide a path for both to become more competitive. Nissan doesn’t offer a hybrid here, and Mitsubishi doesn’t have EVs, so it’s a match made in heaven – at least on paper. Nissan’s somewhat recently-refreshed Frontier pickup is already behind the times, as Ford, Toyota, and General Motors have newer, more refined trucks on sale.

While this could significantly benefit Mitsubishi and Nissan, it likely won’t be the silver bullet that makes them immediately competitive. Badge-engineered vehicles don’t always scratch the same itch as original models, especially when the alternatives are so compelling. Whatever the outcome, both brands desperately need this partnership to boost their standings in the United States.

[Image: Nissan]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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4 of 10 comments
  • Peter Peter on Apr 01, 2024

    Canam23, My point was there were PHEV’s on sale in Europe in 2012. Years before the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was available.

  • Canam23 Canam23 on Apr 03, 2024

    In Europe Mitsubishi wasn't seen as the bargain basement brand. They sell lots of four wheel drives, pick up trucks etc. Also, due to the high price of gas the PHEV was very popular and only Mitsubishi had them. in 2018 the Outlander PHEV went from a 2.0 liter four to a 2.4 liter and the battery size grew as well. The US didn't get these upgrades until three years later because Mitsubishi was busy selling them at full price in Europe. The PHEV has really only started to become more popular in the US in the last few years.

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