Nissan and Mitsubishi Plan Deeper Ties, Expand OEM Projects

Japan's Nissan Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors today announced that they plan to deepen their business ties by establishing a new minicar joint venture in Japan and further expanding their OEM projects, to save costs and increase their competitiveness in the global car industry.

Under the new agreement, the automakers will build more cars for each other under what is known in the industry as an "original equipment manufacturer" or OEM partnership.

In particular, Nissan will provide a light van/wagon to Mitsubishi for the Japanese domestic market, while Mitsubishi will offer an SUV to Nissan for markets in the Middle East. In addition, discussions are ongoing for Nissan to provide Mitsubishi with upper-end segment models for the Japanese domestic market.

The two companies added that they are studying the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture for product planning and engineering of mini cars for the Japanese market, as well as the manufacture of the current generation of Nissan Navara pickup truck at Mitsubishi Motors' plant in Thailand.

Further down the line, the two companies said they are evaluating the manufacturing and engineering collaboration of a new generation one-ton pickup truck.

Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: "This agreement is important for Nissan as it supports our expansion in emerging markets, meets immediate capacity needs overseas, and enables us to grow our mini car business in Japan. Our relationship with Mitsubishi demonstrates the ability of the Renault-Nissan Alliance - with its network of global partnerships - to constantly evolve and create new win-win relationships with other companies in function of specific needs and shared objectives".

Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko said: "Amid the drastically changing economic and market environments, Mitsubishi Motors is in partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroën in the areas of SUVs and EVs, and is always searching for other optimal solutions suited for each area of our business. This agreement to expand our business cooperation with Nissan is founded on our good business relationship since 2003, through several OEM agreements of mini cars and commercial vehicles. I believe that the expansion of our OEM agreement will complement each others' regional characteristics and product lineup, and the one-ton pickup and mini car projects will be the best solution to strengthen each others' competitiveness".