Having acquired a controlling stake in Mitsubishi, Nissan wants to 'become jointly a powerhouse globally in the segment'.
Nissan could bring Mitsubishi pickup trucks to the United States as Nissan looks to leverage both manufacturers’ expertise in the field, having completed a $2.28 billion deal to acquire a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi.
According to Automotive News, Nissan CEO and acting Mitsubishi Chairman Carlos Ghosn said Nissan wants to “capitalize on Mitsubishi Motors’ strengths in pickup trucks to become jointly a powerhouse globally in the segment.”
Though both the Nissan NP300 and Mitsubishi L200 one ton trucks sell well around the world, neither is currently available in the U.S. Mitsubishi is particularly strong in Thailand, the second biggest pickup market in the world. Though Ghosn did not specifically single out the the U.S. market for a pickup launch, he did highlight the potential for Nissan and Mitsubishi to collaborate in various markets around the world, including North America.
In a column for Automotive News, Ghosn addressed the synergies he is targeting in the tie-up between Nissan and Mitsubishi: “Nissan stands to benefit by harnessing Mitsubishi’s know-how in the kei car segment in Japan and its strength in pickup trucks, adopting Mitsubishi’s systems for plug-in hybrid electric cars and building on Mitsubishi Motors’ successful ASEAN operation to strengthen our operation.”
Ghosn is aiming to realize $240 million in synergies in the 2017 fiscal year, rising to $580 million a year thereafter.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance was formed in 1999, when the French and Japanese automakers were virtually on their knees. According to Ghosn, the alliance has delivered billions of dollars of synergies and allowed both companies to develop technology they would not have been able to on their own.
The Dacia, Lada, Infiniti, Datsun, Samsung, and Venucia brands also fall under the alliance’s umbrella. Ghosn claims adding Mitsubishi will bring annual production across the organization up to 10 million units, making it one of the top three automakers in the world.
Mitsubishi fell into crisis earlier this year after admitting to falsifying fuel economy data through rigged testing, as far back the early 1990s. The company’s president, Tetsuro Aikawa, resigned as a result, and the mess that followed allowed Nissan to step in.
Four Nissan representatives will sit on Mitsubishi’s board, while executives are being shuffled around between the two companies. Ghosn is set to assume the role of Chairman at Mitsubishi, pending shareholder approval. He is also CEO of both Nissan and Renault.