Nissan and Mitsubishi, are studying ways of implementing joint production of pickup trucks in the South East Asian markets. Reuters reports, the move comes as the Renault-Nissan Alliance (RNA) looks for further savings in production and development costs.
Trevor Mann, Mitsubishi’s Chief Operating Officer told Reuters at the ongoing 2017 Geneva show, that Nissan and Mitsubishi could potentially pool technical underpinnings and consolidate production for future Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton pickup models. Both the Triton and Navara are currently produced in Thailand and exported worldwide, including Malaysia.
Under the arrangement, Mitsubishi’s pickup architecture could underpin future RNA pickup models. Nissan acquired Mitsubishi after the company falsified emissions scandal in October of last year, the RNA currently holds a 34% controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC).
The NP300 Navara is currently produced in Nissan’s Samut Prakan plant, while the (fifth-gen) Triton is produced in Mitsubishi’s Laem Chabang plant. Trevor Mann added, “Moving to common architectures could potentially allow the Mitsubishi factory to specialize in pickups while the Nissan plant builds cars and SUVs, increasing productivity at both sites.” However, nothing is confirmed yet.
The cooperation will extend to other markets such as Indonesia and Philippines, where the companies have facilities. Mann also admits, that Nissan will likely utilise Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid technologies, and that alliance partner Renault, may have to “wait longer” to generate a strategic relationship with Mitsubishi.
Mann admits, that under Nissan stewardship, Mitsubishi have been “cleaning house” in the wake of the scandal and damage control has been addressed by a proper delegation of authority and risk and ethics oversight.