The takeover comes at the end of recent traumatic times for Mitsubishi. The brand earned widespread condemnation following the revelation that fuel economy data on principally Japanese models had been falsified for 25 years.
The purchase, which is understood to have cost Nissan 237 billion Yen, equivalent to around £1.5 billion, will see Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) become a part of the now 17-year-old Renault-Nissan Alliance, taking the Alliance to sales of 10 million units in 2016 and creating what Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn describes as “a new force in global-car making.”
“It will be one of the world’s three largest automotive groups, with the economies of scale, breakthrough technologies and manufacturing capabilities to produce vehicles to serve customer demand in every market segment and in every geographic market around the world,” Ghosn adds.
Future plans for Nissan and MMC will include joint purchasing and use of manufacturing plants, and platform and technology sharing.
Ghosn says that the brand will be targeting benefits of working together with Mitsubishi to the level of 24 billion Yen (£200 million) in 2017, rising to 60 billion Yen (£470 million) in 2018 and beyond.
According to a statement issued by Nissan the takeover came at the request of Mitsubishi president and CEO Osamu Masuko following the brand’s fuel economy crisis. The two manufacturers are known to each other having worked together on small Japanese ‘kei-cars’ for the past five years.
We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust,” said Ghosn, who becomes one of four Nissan representatives on the Mistusibhi board and its chairman-elect. “This is a priority as we pursue the synergies and growth potential of our enlarged relationship.”
“I welcome Nissan’s willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder,” said Masuko. “As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximise potential future synergies through our deeper alliance.”