Nissan Alliance With Mitsubishi Comes With A Big Catch
Earlier this month, it was announced that Nissan is purchasing a significant stake in Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi. Anyone that has been following car news, however, will remember that Mitsubishi is actually currently embroiled in a cheating scandal, where the company lied about the fuel efficiency of its vehicles for the past 25 years in Japan. Two of the vehicles that Mitsubishi fabricated efficiency ratings for were actually sold under the Nissan badge, thanks to a previous partnership. Why would Nissan want to jump into that mess?
The answer is that Nissan is hoping that their infusion of cash into Mitsubishi will save the company from the scandal. While Mitsubishi’s stock price has tripped and fallen on its face since the scandal was discovered, it still has many things that Nissan sees as valuable, including a better presence in Southeast Asia and vehicle platforms. By bringing Mitsubishi in to the family, the Renault-Nissan Alliance stands to become one of the largest automakers in the world, bringing it into competition with the likes of Toyota and Volkswagen.
Nissan is no dummy, either. As with a marriage that could end in disaster, Nissan has an automatic out in the relationship if its investigators should find anything “surprising” (aka scandalous) in Mitsubishi’s books as both automakers prepare to make a partnership final at the end of this month. If Mitsubishi is found to have cheated tests outside of Japan, the deal is off and Nissan leaves Mitsubishi to spiral downwards alone. A report is also expected in Japan later this month that will tell Nissan (and the world) if we truly know all there is to know about the current scandal.
For Mitsubishi’s sake, we hope that Nissan’s investigators do not find anything else that’s questionable. Nissan’s partnership with Renault helped to save Nissan from bankruptcy, and this partnership could give Mitsubishi a much-needed boost to succeed.