Mitsubishi moves to forge links with Renault-Nissan Alliance
SEOUL – The inexorable pace of diverse carmakers joining hands to pool resources for product development, new technology and also parts sourcing witnessed yet another accord when the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announced a tie-up to this effect on Tuesday. It’s no secret that the Carlos Ghosn (pictured)-led Renault-Nissan Alliance has worked pretty slick, barring a few initial hiccups and that template is a much-acclaimed one within the global auto industry.
Mitsubishi has been somewhat of a laggard in the global scheme of things and to shore up its product portfolio, the deal envisages a badge-engineered Renault B-segment sedan (made at the Renault Samsung plant at Busan in South Korea) for Mitsubishi to market and sell under its brand name in North American markets. However, it is the second product offering that is of even greater significance because all three would collaborate on its design, development and manufacturing.
This model is expected to be a C-segment sedan that would be made and sold globally and could have an India-future though it remains to be seen if it would be marketed under the Mitsubishi brand here. Studies are under way as to the exact manufacturing location for this global C-segment sedan, but what is already understood is that all three would be made from just one or possibly two manufacturing outposts at the most in the world.
Nissan and Mitsubishi already share a good working relationship in Japan whereby the latter sources the K-class (Kei jidosha) minicars for its network in Japan. This will be further expanded to include new alternative fuel technologies plus a more proactive thrust on electric propulsion systems under development at Mitsubishi to add to the unqualified leadership of Nissan in this segment.