Next-Generation L200 and Navara to Be Based on Same Platform

Following its 34% acquisition of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation in 2017, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has confirmed that the next-generation Navara and L200 will be based on the same platform.

At the launch of the facelifted L200 in Thailand, Mitsubishi said it would likely be playing the lead role in the development.

Joint Venture Background

Mitsubishi had been struggling financially since the fuel economy scandal in Japan was exposed in 2017, and the board desperately sought assistance from rival OEMs.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance, based in Amsterdam, came to Mitsubishi’s rescue, acquiring a 34% stake for 237bn yen (£1.52bn) and thus creating the world’s fourth-largest automotive manufacturing alliance (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi) behind Toyota, Volkswagen and Ford.

When pressed, Mr Ghosn – the man spearheading the operation – suggested that both companies will merge their pickup operations, sharing a platform for the next generation of Navara and L200.

“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,” continued Ghosn. “The cost of development and purchasing will be lower. A common platform, but different developments.”

Nissan Navara will share a platform with the L200

Mitsubishi to Take the Lead?

At the launch of the facelifted Mitsubishi L200 in Thailand, November 2018, Mitsubishi chief executive, Trevor Mann, was asked if Nissan, being the much larger manufacturer, will take the lead on the pickup development.

“I think it’s the other way around. It’s not a promise, but if you look at the expertise we have…” explained Mann. “Based on the expertise question, the company with the most expertise in a certain category would take the lead, which is why I intimated we would be the potential leader for [body-on-] frame platforms.

“We have 4×4 expertise, and we have framed vehicle expertise. Obviously Nissan also has a level of 4×4 ability, but I think what we have in terms of our AWD system defines our brand and is a brand differentiator.”

Mitsubishi L200 will share a platform with the Navara

When Will It Arrive?

Both vehicles are coming up to the mid-point of their lifecycle, and the all-new model is expected between 2023 and 2025.

There is no news regarding how this will affect the current joint venture products. The Nissan Navara also forms the basis for the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Renault Alaskan pickups, while the Mitsubishi L200 is also sold as the Fiat Fullback.

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