Now that Mitsubishi Motors has been absorbed into the Renault-Nissan Alliance, it is only prudent to expect that the seven-seater Mitsubishi Xpander, currently on sale in Indonesia and certainly coming to Malaysia, will be coopted by Nissan.
Thus, it came as no surprise that sources familiar with the matter are now able to confirm with Carlist.my that Nissan is developing an all-new Grand Livina based on the Mitsubishi Xpander, and that it will be launched in Malaysia sometime between late-2018 and early-2019, and only after the Xpander makes its local debut.
Essentially the same car, both the Xpander and all-new Grand Livina will be differentiated by slightly different styling.
Prior to Nissan’s takeover of Mitsubishi Motors in late-2016, Nissan had no replacement for the aging Nissan Grand Livina, which was first launched in 2007 and facelifted in 2013. Post-entry into the expanded Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, markets have been speculating that Mitsubishi will soon manufacture a Nissan-badged version of the Xpander under contract in Indonesia. The arrangement will mirror Toyota’s contract manufacturing arrangement with Daihatsu, whose Xenia and Terios are also supplied to Toyota under the Avanza and Rush nameplates.
First previewed as the Mitsubishi XM Concept at the 2016 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show, the SUV-esque Xpander is Mitsubishi’s answer to the Honda BR-V.
In Indonesia, it is powered by a 1.5-litre MIVEC petrol engine that outputs 104 PS and 141 Nm, driving the front wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission. On paper, that’s quite far off from the Honda BR-V’s 120 PS and 145 Nm but the Mitsubishi is priced lower, ranging from IDR 189 million to 245 million versus the Honda’s IDR 234 million – 269 million.
It is unclear if the Malaysia-market all-new Grand Livina will be imported from Mitsubishi’s plant in Indonesia or assembled at Tan Chong’s plant in Serendah. It is also worth noting that TCMA already have an existing relationship with Mitsubishi Motors prior to the tri-diamond brand’s entry into the Alliance. Its Segambut plant, which specializes in contract assembly work, have been assembling the five-seater ASX for Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia, before adding the seven-seater Outlander to the list late last year.
Tan Chong Motor Assemblies, the vehicle assembly arm of the Nissan distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor, have since throttled down assembly of the Grand Livina to just less than 90 units per month. At its peak, TCMA used to assemble over 400 units of the Grand Livina every month.