Following the news that Nissan has acquired a 34 percent stake in the Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has stated that a joint platform for the two companies’ pickups, the Nissan NP300 Navara and Mitsubishi L200, is a distinct possibility.
Mitsubishi has been struggling financially since the fuel economy scandal was exposed earlier in the year and its hoped that the cash injection from Nissan will help the otherwise small but successful Japanese company turn things around.
The US$2.2bn deal will create the world’s fourth largest automotive manufacturing alliance (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi) behind Toyota, Volkswagen and Ford. Mr Ghosn, the man spearheading the operation, has hinted that there is the possibility of merging the two companies’ pickup operations.
“It’s very possible that we are going to use the same platform (for the pickups), but we’re going to develop the cars differently because the customers are not the same”, explained Mr Ghosn.
“But instead of two different platforms we can have them on the same platform but be completely different products. The cost of development and purchasing will be lower. A common platform, but different developments.”
Currently, the Nissan NP300 Navara and Mitsubishi L200 couldn’t be any more different as highlighted in our recent Misubishi L200 and Nissan NP300 Navara head-to-head.
The NP300 Navara uses coil spring suspension so it’s a lot more comfortable to drive and has a much larger load area, whereas the L200 has a the longest cab in its class and smallest turning circle.
Both vehicles have only just been launched and, given the lifecycle of around 10 years for a pickup, the jointly-produced product would only be hitting the market in around 2025.
There is no news regarding how this will affect the current joint venture products. The upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLT (name to be confirmed) and Renault Alaskan pickups will be based on the current Nissan NP300 Navara and the Mitsubishi L200 is also sold as the Fiat Fullback.
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