Following reports that Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will open a new, efficient global small car plant in Thailand, rumors that MMC and Nissan are talking about a 50-50 joint company in 2011 are a lot more interesting. Automotive News is reporting that the two Japanese automakers could bring a small car to market together in 2012 and – here's where it gets good – they might also work together on electric vehicles. Mitsubishi has been making the Mitsubishi iMiEV for years and Nissan just delivered its first Leaf. The two automakers also participate in a joint car-sharing program in Kyoto, Japan.

According to a statement from Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, no details have been decided, but an analyst at a consulting company in Tokyo told AN, "The alliance of the two automakers seems to be a good one as we can expect more cooperation in electric vehicles going forward." Ghosn's statement said the partnership, "is important for Nissan as it supports our expansion in emerging markets, meets immediate capacity needs overseas and enables us to grow our minicar business in Japan."

Mitsubishi and Nissan already work together on some vehicles, like the Mitsubishi Lancer Cargo (made by Nissan) and the Minicab, Town Box, eKWagon and Pajero Mini models (built by Mitsubishi for Nissan).

[Sources: Automotive News – sub. req., Green Car Reports]