Nissan and Mitsubishi have agreed to expand their current partnership, and could jointly develop an EV. The two companies already work together to build the little egg-shaped Kei cars (of which the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is one example) for the Japanese market. They now plan to develop vehicles for sale abroad, with Mitsubishi introducing two sedans based on Renault models, Bloomberg reported this week.
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of both Nissan and Renault, expects the Mitsubishi alliance to save the companies some 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) by 2016. The two have had a sales and production partnership since 1999, and each owns a substantial stake in the other. The Japanese/French alliance generated 2.69 billion euros in savings last year, according to the companies.
Renault and Nissan “are doing the right thing by trying to expand their collaboration further and by involving other original-equipment manufacturers into the project more deeply,” industry analyst Erich Hauser told Bloomberg. “We should see marginal benefits from the greater volume leverage,” though Mitsubishi is a small player in the global market.
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The two-year-old Kei-model joint venture of Nissan and Mitsubishi, which is called NMKV, will develop an entry-level model that will have an electric version to be sold globally, and the three manufacturers plan to share electrification technology.