The Nissan-Mitsubishi cooperative, commonly referred to as the NMKV joint venture, has been responsible for the Japan-only Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK vehicles in the Kei segment. The companies announced an extension and expansion of that partnership to include Nissan’s alliance partner and majority shareholder, Renault.
The update to the agreement and cooperative means a couple of things, both of which were announced with the new agreement:
- Development of a new small-segment car with an EV option.
- Introduction of a new Mitsubishi model in the U.S. based on a D-segment car (large sedan) from Renault.
A third possibility is the introduction of a C-segment car (compact) also from the Renault or Nissan lineup but with a Mitsubishi nameplate.
For Mitsubishi, this is a big opportunity to bring a car into a segment they don’t currently occupy in North America – the large car segment – and an alliance car with Nissan similar to the people-movers in the Kei segment in Japan they’ve done, but for the American market. That second car will have an electric component, whether it’s hybrid or battery-electric, leading me to believe that they may be doing a Nissan Versa Note option as a collaboration.
Nissan, meanwhile, earns a chance to utilize some of Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle patents and technologies and Renault gets a way to bring their Renault Samsung vehicles from Korea to the U.S. as the large sedan to be brought is likely going to be an Americanized version of the Renault Samsung SM7.
You can read more about this and my thoughts on the likely plans for this alliance in an in-depth piece I wrote for TorqueNews.com.