Like, holy frick! You turn your back for one second and Nissan and Chrysler are in talks to join forces. Reuters is reporting that Chrysler, perhaps rebounding from its recent divorce with Mercedes-Benz, is seeking solace, comfort, and a fuel-efficient small car in the welcoming arms of Nissan.
Talk about deja vu! During the fuel crisis, (um, the other fuel crisis, in ’73), Chrysler was caught completely off guard, lacking any small cars in their lineup. Japanese dealership chains were charging across the US like an astronaut in diapers, and poor Mitsubishi was late to the game. Rather than building a network of showrooms from scratch, they cooked up a plan to just rebadge some products and sell them through Chrysler’s stores.
The result was that cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer, Lancer Celeste, Galant Lambda and Forte were sold as the Dodge Colt, Plymouth Arrow, Dodge Challenger, and Plymouth Arrow Truck here in the States. This collaboration continues even today, with the Dodge Dakota/Mitsu Raider pickups. Unfortunately, this arrangement diluted later flagship models like the 3000GT, but the good thing is that we got some excellent cars that we otherwise would have never seen at all.