Renault-Nissan Alliance Helps Mitsubishi Motors Get Back on Track
Mitsubishi Motors had been hit by several quality issues and scandals and, although it was in profit last year, in 2016 a colossal loss is expected. But, is there a light at the end of the tunnel? These days Renault-Nissan Alliance has formally taken controlling stakes in Mitsubishi Motors. Will it repair the company’s image? I’ve talked to Mitsubishi Cranbourne (Victoria, Australia) dealer to find out more about the possible outcome of this new Mitsubishi-Renault-Nissan partnership.
Although it’s clear that this isn’t a partnership, but a cry for help, it might turn to be the best decision Mitsubishi Motors made in last couple of years. In general, Mitsubishi is going to get access to Renault/Nissan cars, SUVs, crossovers and pickups. The tech swaps and technologies will probably apply the other way. Clearly, Mitsubishi Motors is a company strong in 4x4s, pickups and crossovers, the same as Nissan/Renault is. Basically, we can expect that in each class of vehicles there will likely be one platform instead of two; for example, Navara instead of L200, Patrol instead of Shogun etc.
When it comes to plug-in hybrids, Mitsubishi is quite strong in that field, while Nissan is the leader in EVs sales. Therefore, their co-operation and filling the gaps in each other’s knowledge here will come as no surprise.
After the scandal related to Kei cars, Mitsubishi Motors sales fell approximately 50%. What they need is to re-establish customer trust in Japan, which will not be easy. However, Mitsubishi has strength in these cars and Renault-Nissan Alliance will continue to use it. As to mid-size vehicles and hatchbacks, Mitsubishi Motors have almost given up, so they really need some help from Nissan in this field. Mitsubishi Dealers are really looking forward to seeing models that won’t be as hopeless as, for instance Mirage supermini.
Although this partnership can benefit Mitsubishi Motors or, let’s face it, prevent their bankruptcy, in my opinion, they should be working really hard on keeping their own identity. They car should look and feel different compared to Nissan models. If not, the car world will actually lose its gem and that would be a shame.