Nissan and Mitsubishi expand ties to cut costs

NISSAN and Mitsubishi Motors said yesterday that they would deepen their operational ties to make better use of their resources as a strong yen makes competing tougher for Japanese automakers.

Nissan and Mitsubishi, Japan’s third and sixth largest carmakers respectively in 2009, have been working together since 2003, mainly involving Mitsubishi Motors building 660cc minivehicles under Nissan’s badge in Japan.

Under the new agreement, Nissan will provide a light van to Mitsubishi Motors for the Japanese market, while Mitsubishi will supply an SUV to Nissan for sale in the Middle East, they said.

Discussions are also underway for the production of Nissan’s Navara pickup truck at Mitsubishi’s Thai factory, and for the establishment of a 50-50 joint venture to develop and produce 660cc minivehicles for Japan. Nissan said it was also considering providing Mitsubishi Motors with higher-end models in Japan.

Carmakers around the world are seeking partnerships to cut costs.