Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors to Expand Scope of Cooperation by Carlos Ghosn

In the global auto industry, cooperation on specific projects among automakers is becoming increasingly common. It is, in fact, a signal of how our industry is evolving to sustain success over the long term – by leveraging size, scale and investments more effectively to create more value.

Nissan has a history of working with other companies and developing a range of partnerships based on specific needs and shared objective.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is the prime example, and the spirit of the alliance is at the core of the network of collaboration that has since been established – with Dongfeng in China, Ashok Leyland in India and, more recently, Daimler in Germany and AvtoVAZ in Russia.

While we share our strengths to improve our mutual competitiveness, we do so while respecting the integrity of each company’s brands, products and corporate cultures. The announcement that Masuko-san and I are making today is fully in line with this pattern.

We are pleased to announce a cooperation agreement that will increase the competitiveness of Nissan and Mitsubishi in Asia and bring greater value to our companies, our stakeholders and, particularly, our customers.

For Nissan, this cooperation agreement is strategically significant in four key ways.

It will support our strategy of expansion in emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East…help fulfill immediate capacity needs where demand for our products is strong… provide a profitable solution for a next-generation vehicle…and help us strengthen our business in Japan.

All these actions will optimize the existing synergies we have with Mitsubishi and develop further into engineering, product development and manufacturing opportunities.

Let me explain our shared projects.

In the Middle East and Asia, we will expand our OEM exchanges by adding new products.

Mitsubishi will provide a sport utility vehicle for Nissan in the Middle East. In turn, Nissan will provide a light van model to Mitsubishi for the Japanese domestic market.

This is a natural evolution of the many OEM agreements Nissan and Mitsubishi have shared since 2003, particularly in the LCV segment.

Next, we are moving forward in our discussion of projects that will optimize the engineering and production capabilities of our two companies.

Nissan has capacity needs in Thailand due to overwhelming demand for the all-new Nissan March.

To better accommodate that demand with our Thai plant, we will move the production of our 1-ton-pick-up Navara, a best-seller in the ASEAN region, from our plant to Mitsubishi’s plant in Thailand.

Looking to the next generation of electric vehicles with lithium ion batteries, we are studying the joint development of a next-generation of 1-ton pick-up truck with Mitsubishi.

Finally, we expect to achieve additional synergies by sharing development and parts.

Turning our attention to sales in the Japanese market, we will also collaborate on the planning and development of an all-new-K-car.

We will create a joint-venture that will better support our long-term solution to growing minicar sales in Japan, a segment that now represents 35% of the market. A joint-venture structure will enhance Nissan’s involvement in the upstream concept phase of product planning to better reflect our customers’ needs.

With the cooperation agreement we are announcing today, Nissan and Mitsubishi will ensure that the synergies that have been outlined will be executed with discipline and focus.

We will use each company’s strengths and areas of expertise with more efficiency and effectiveness.

And we will be able to allocate and invest more resources into our specific strategic businesses while enhancing other areas with the support of our partner.

We are eager to move forward with Mitsubishi to a higher level of performance that will meet the needs of the customers we serve.

By Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman and CEO,,