Mitsubishi and Renault-Nissan have just inked an alliance that might, hopefully, reverse the ailing fortunes of the Mitsubishi brand in the US market. The big chunk of news is that Mitsubishi will produce two Renualt-based models for sale in the US market, and that they'll be built at the Renault-Samsung factory in Busan, South Korea.

The plans call for a D-segment sedan to be followed by a C-segment offering. Based on the cars built at the Busan factory, that means Mitsubishi will be getting the SM5 and the SM3, a pair of handsome sedans that are based on Renault-Nissan's D and C platforms, respectively. These same platforms underpin a number of US market Nissans (not to mention a number of cars from Renault), namely the Pathfinder, Maxima, Quest and Murano for the D platform and the last-generation Rogue and Sentra for the C platform.

Besides the sedan production, Nissan and Mitsubishi will be expanding their joint-venture company, NMKV, which produces Kei cars for the Japanese market. A new, all-electric offering will be born from the partnership, likely based on a Kei car platform. The partnership between the three brands will also lead to increased sharing of technology, particularly relating to electric cars.

"Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have jointly benefited from several collaborations in the past, most recently the successful joint-venture on Kei cars in Japan. I welcome the direction being taken towards this broader cooperation, creating new opportunities for Renault in addition to further leveraging the productive relationship between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors," said the President and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn.

Take a look below for the full press release from Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Show full PR text
RENAULT-NISSAN ALLIANCE & MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION EXPLORE
WIDE RANGING GLOBAL PRODUCT AND TECHNOLOGY COOPERATION

New projects to drive global product coverage and capacity utilization

Amsterdam, Netherlands / Tokyo, Japan (November 5, 2013) – The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced their joint intention to explore several new projects covering shared products, technologies and manufacturing capacity among the automakers. As a consequence, it has been agreed that the strategic cooperation between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors could be expanded across the broader Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, it is expected that the existing NMKV joint-venture company will be extended to co-develop a new small-segment car including a specific electric version that can be sold on a global basis. The basis for this product will be from a jointly-developed 'Kei car' platform of the type popular in the Japanese domestic market. Further details of all products, markets and manufacturing will be announced separately.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation are also confirming their intention to share technologies and product assets related to electric vehicles and latest-generation platforms. Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors were among the first to pioneer the introduction of mass-marketed zero emission products.

Based on the current direction of discussions between Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, it is firstly expected that two new sedan models would be launched under the Mitsubishi brand, based on vehicles from the Renault portfolio. Secondary and additional studies around other projects will then be considered.
The first sedan, to compete in the full-size D-segment markets of the United States and Canada and would be manufactured at the Renault-Samsung plant in Busan, South Korea.
The second sedan model would compete in the global C-segment. The manufacturing location for this product is under discussion.
President and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn said: "Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have jointly benefited from several collaborations in the past, most recently the successful joint-venture on Kei cars in Japan. I welcome the direction being taken towards this broader cooperation, creating new opportunities for Renault in addition to further leveraging the productive relationship between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors."

Osamu Masuko, President of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation commented: "As a result of the development of collaborative projects with Nissan Motor up to now, Mitsubishi Motors is pleased to work again with Nissan and now Renault towards achieving further collaborations. The new opportunities could be described as evidence that the ongoing collaborative projects between Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan have brought positive results, and Mitsubishi Motors hopes that any new collaborative projects with the Renault-Nissan Alliance would bring us further merits."

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have an existing joint-venture company called NMKV which was established in June 2011 for the purpose of co-developing a range of Kei cars for both brands. The first of these products – the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK wagon – went on sale in Japan this year. Both products are manufactured at the Mitsubishi Mizushima plant in Japan.

About the Renault-Nissan Alliance
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is a strategic partnership between Renault (based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France) and Nissan (based in Yokohama, Japan), which together sell one in ten cars worldwide. Renault and Nissan have been strategic partners since 1999 and sold 8.1 million cars in nearly 200 countries in 2012. The Alliance operates strategic collaborations with numerous automakers, including Germany's Daimler, China's Dongfeng, and with regional manufacturers such as Ashok Leyland in India.

About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is a global vehicle manufacturer, selling and servicing wide range of vehicles including minicars, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks and sedans in more than 160 countries. Mitsubishi Motors is known throughout the world for its engineering prowess in every aspect of automobiles –creating state-of-the-art engine, four-wheel-drive, safety, and now electric vehicle technologies. Mitsubishi Motors launched the zero-emission i-MiEV battery-powered electric vehicle in 2009 as part of a corporate mission to offer consumers more environmentally responsible modes of transportation.
For more information: http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/en/index.html


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Vergenbuurg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Those Renault-Samsung vehicles have always intrigued me, and was hoping the whole Penske/Saturn deal would have worked to bring them over... but getting them as Mitsubishis will be just as interesting.
      Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice. Mitsu needs a couple of more new product announcements to quiet the talk of them leaving the US market. Maybe the Montero or fast tracking the EV Outlander?
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mitsu need all the help it can get
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      the renault SM5 uses nissan 2.0 liter 4 cylinder and 2.5 V6, I think the 2.0 liter would be underpower, i think nissan 2.5 4 cylinder would be used here or nissan 3.5 liter. The SM3 is uses the 1.6 liter, underpower for the usa market, guess they will used the 1.8 that power the sentra.
        Felipe Politano
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chanonissan
        They offer the SM5 with Renault's 2.0 turbo detuned to deliver 180hp, that would make a compelling in its class.
      Felipe Politano
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now that is great news both for product-starved Mitsu and American customers, that now might get a better chance of buying contemporary Renaults rebadged with the tri-diamond. Both the SM3 and SM5 are very appropriate for the American market. Just one question: is the SM3/Fluence-based sedan going to be called the next Lancer? The SM3 is sold elsewhere as the Renault Fluence, a decent, competitive compact sedan built on the Megane bones. It's one of the most spacious offerings on its class, and there is already an electric version to make it more eco-friendly. There is a huge array of engine options it could use, from the old-school 2.0 (140hp) and sporty 2.0T (180hp) to the Sentra's 1.8 (132hp) mill, but here's for hoping they offer it in North America with a base Renault-sourced 1.2 turbo (up to 134hp) and an optional 1.6 turbo from the Juke (188hp). If the SM3 is INDEED supposed to be the next Lancer, than we could see two different developments: the Evo ould either become a standalone model line and go upscale; or maybe Mitsu could work along with Renaultsport to fit the 260hp engine from the Megane RS in the SM3 nose (which is easy, since the SM3/Fluence is basically a Megane Sedan) and then give it some extra power or electric motors. Nice! The SM5/Latitude, on the other hand, is already a bit dated, though still a very good car. It could be sold in the US as the new Galant, since it's actually a conventional four-door version of the Renault Laguna. It's currently sold with a base aspirated 2.0 (140hp), a turbocharged version of that same engine (180hp) or Nissan's 3.5 V6. The 2.0T and V6 seem to be the best bets for the US, since it would take some development money to fit it with the Altima's 2.5 or the Jukes 1.6T. Still, Mitsubishi could take advantage of other Renault products. For example, the Eclipse badge could be brought back to life with either the compact Megane Coupe or the elegant Laguna Coupe. And a new flagship could help improve the brand's image - they already build the beautiful SM7/Safrane in South Korea anyway, so they could just make it a new Diamante.
        thatitaliankid321
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        well bringing back the eclipse nameplate at this point of the game really wouldnt be the best thing to do. given what mitsubishi did to the Evo X (shudder) i wouldnt want to see the eclipse go that route. Also the Eclipse has a good portion of its bloodlines with Chrysler through the DSM joint venture specificaly desinged for america. the eclipse in its early stage wasnt highly sold worldwide exept in North America.As a die hard DSM fan, Unless Mitsu and Chrysler make a new D segment coupe like the original eclipse, they shouldnt risk tarnishing the nameplate
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      audisp0rta4
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for Mitsubishi. Seems they need all the help they can get over there, since they don't know how to work with what they're good at (EVO, off road).
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mitsubishi should have partnered up a long time ago with someone, good to hear they are finally partnering for much needed volume selling sedans. The Galant was beyond old like 2003 old.
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      I am glad to see this partnership happen. Renault/Samsung invested in Federalizing theses cars back in the 2000's for the Saturn/Penske deal and I am happy they are eating to put that money to work. Mitsubishi will be a better company for this and hopefully will survive because of it.
      JayLagan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not sure whether this will pan out well. Mitsubishi have a pretty ropy reputation at the moment and Renault cars just simply won't stand up to the work out Americans give their cars (If a car can't give 100K with no faults, it's junk). Even Volkswagen, the supposed German engineering masters, can't crack the reliability issues. So, this may kill one of Mitsubishi's few valuable qualities (i.e a network in the United States), which leaves even fewer reasons to believe Mitsubishi's survival will be long term. Having said this, if Renault can slap a Mitsubishi badge on a Laguna Coupe, I could see that carving a niche market out in the United States. Google it. You'll be surprised...
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JayLagan
        renualt SM5 and SM3 uses nissan engines, so that no really big issue. Renault samsung have high reliability rating in korea, think you are confuse with renault europe.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          renault europe uses mostly renault made TCE gasoline engines.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yay. My porno fantasy. A Nissan GTR is finally going to have sex with a Lancer Evo. Oh yea....I like that.
      Bryan Lund
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's way too much innovation, intelligence and just plain good automobile building from Mitsubishi to put them down or to try and count them out. I own a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and I'm amazed at how much beautiful, well-put together car I got for my money. When it's time ta buy again it will be pert-near impossible ta buy anything other than a new Mitsubishi. Except perhaps a Nissan cube, of course.
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