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Nissan, Mitsubishi Collaboration to Step Up Development of Mini Cars

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Nissan Mitsubishi partnership

Way back in June 2011, Mitsubishi and Nissan got together and decided that it was a good time to start producing minicars—little three-cylinder compact vehicles—so they created NMKV, which immediately set about creating and selling 500,000 gas-powered compact cars under the Nissan and Mitsubishi names.

Mitsubishi eK Wagon

The Mitsubishi eK, one of the minicars to come from the collaboration
Image: DY5W-sport via WordPress

Now, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and NMKV have come to both an agreement on how they will proceed, and a plan for a new miniature electric vehicle. Both Nissan and Mitsubishi already produce successful EVs (the LEAF and the i-MiEV, respectively), but this EV will avoid stepping on any toes using one important detail: it will be priced at less than $15,000 in Japan, much less than either the LEAF or the i-MiEV.

In developing this and future minicars, Nissan has pledged to be more involved in developing and testing the vehicles under the direction of NMKV managers and planners. Vehicles will continue to be produced in Mitsubishi’s Mizushima plant, as they have been from the beginning of the partnership.

Nissan, Mitsubishi, and NMKV executives seem fairly excited about the increased collaboration.

“Nissan’s deeper involvement in development operations for next generation minicars will enable the easier application of advanced safety and eco-friendly technologies in larger vehicles,” said Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan CCO. “This new opportunity will enable us to deliver even more competitive vehicles to consumers by enhancing our product and lineup, by strengthening our partnership and combining the expertise of both companies.”

“For Mitsubishi, minicars are a key segment that accounts for more than half of our total sales in Japan. By combining each other’s strengths through NMKV, we will continue to introduce attractive products to the market. Producing the new models at our Mizushima Plant, after the current model production ends, will help us further accelerate the improvement activities on which the three companies have been working together in the areas of production costs, efficiency and quality, and this will lead us to introduce more competitive products,” said Mitsubishi President and COO Tetsuro Aikawa.

NMKV President and CEO Junichi Endo said, “This new agreement shows that our efforts are making steady progress and thus the collaboration will further deepen. We are taking the lead in this project by combining Mitsubishi’s know-how in minicar development and manufacturing with Nissan’s technologies.”

Geez, get a room, you three.

News Source: Autoblog