Nissan announced Thursday that it would buy what Reuters described as a controlling stake in Mitsubishi, an interesting development which should be at least noted by the collision repair industry even if the impact on shops might be rather minimal.
In our admittedly only year of existence, we found the only Mitsubishi-specific coverage to related to that of a sister company — Mitsubishi Rayon, and its carbon-fiber precursor. Still, that could aid Nissan (the Nissan-Renault alliance, really) develop its own carbon-fiber applications, as well as help Nissan learn other internal Mitsubishi details.
Nissan will pay $2.18 million for 34 percent of Mitsubishi, which Reuters said lets them run the show under Japanese stockholder rules. The OEM will get to nominate someone to become chairman of Mitsubishi’s board and fill other board seats.
“This is a breakthrough transaction and a win-win for both Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors,” Nissan President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said in a statement. “It creates a dynamic new force in the automotive industry that will cooperate intensively, and generate sizeable synergies. We will be the largest shareholder of MMC, respecting their brand, their history and boosting their growth prospects. We will support MMC as they address their challenges and welcome them as the newest member of our enlarged Alliance family.”
Reuters reported that Nissan viewed the purchase as a great way to break into Japan’s small-car market, and the OEM likely also saw it as a means to make inroads into other parts of Asia in general.
A Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi combined company would have sold 9.6 million vehicles worldwide in 2015 — which puts it into the range of global Top 3 Toyota, Volkswagen and GM, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nissan noted it for 17 years has had an “Alliance model” cross-shareholding deal with Renault, and it has agreements with of or a piece of OEM concerns like Daimler and AvtoVaz.
Nissan and Mitsubishi already have worked together on various items for years, and they’ll in the future “cooperate in areas including purchasing, common vehicle platforms, technology-sharing, joint plant utilization and growth markets,” Nissan wrote in a news release.
“Through its long history of successful partnerships Nissan Motor has developed a deep knowledge of maximizing the benefits from alliance partnerships,” Mitsubishi Chairman (for now) of the Board and Chief Executive Osamu Masuko said in a statement. “This agreement will create long-term value needed for our two companies to progress towards the future. We will achieve long term value through deepening our strategic partnership including sharing resources such as development, as well as joint procurement.”