Advanced military tech could be headed to a car near you, as Mitsubishi Motors taps its sister company's defense tech to adapt to driverless vehicles.
In the minds of many auto enthusiasts, Mitsubishi has become an afterthought. It has transformed from a company known for its turbocharged, all-wheel-drive rally machines into an automaker with a very boring lineup. Maybe we are being unfair, though. While the company doesn't have much of a performance presence anymore, the Japanese brand is doing quite well financially.
Long-struggling Mitsubishi Motors is reportedly preparing for a changing of the guard at home. According to Reuters, Osamu Masuko will step aside in favor of Tesuro Aikawa, currently the company's managing director. Masuko won't be leaving the fold entirely, however – he will take the role of chairman, displacing Takashi Nishioka, who will resign. The shakeup has not been confirmed by Mitsubishi, but word is that the changes will take effect April 1.
Struggling automaker Mitsubishi seems adamant that it will soldier on across the globe. Just last week, we told you how the brand would begin selling a pair of rebadged, Korean-built, Renault-Samsung sedans in the US market, and now comes an official statement from Mitsubishi about a mid-term business plan called "New Stage 2016."
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.
As anyone who's suffered through an extended blackout can tell you, electric power can be a precious commodity. With the advent of electric cars comes the ability to borrow back some of the energy stored in traction batteries to help deal with emergencies or other situations.
Believe it or not, Mitsubishi sales in the U.S. are up in 2011 – by a whopping 53 percent. But while the automaker's sales are climbing out of the doldrums, its executive count is dropping. Automotive News reports that two key executives have resigned effective October 31, and those vacancies apparently won't be filled any time soon.
The French and the Japanese have gotten together to form a magic partnership once already with Carlos Ghosn at the helm. The question is, then, can that success be replicated? PSA Peugeot-Citroën seems to hope so, and it is reportedly on the verge of purchasing a controlling stake (somewhere between 30 and 53 percent, depending on the report) in Mitsubishi Motors.
Call it a sign of the times - Mitsubishi is about to close its Mitsubishi Research and Design of America (MRDA) campus in Cypress, California. While the closure affects "only" 60 employees, it seems to be one more step out the American door for this Japanese automaker. Moe Durand, a spokesman for Mitsubishi Motors North America said, "it's a reflection of what is going on in the auto industry right now and the economy as a whole." He added that all design work will now be handled in Japan.
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