NEWS: Nissan to take control of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Motors Tokyo HQ

Breaking news from Japan tonight: Nissan has agreed to take a 34 percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors in a deal worth $2.2 billion, according to Bloomberg. It is now the single largest shareholder in the beleaguered automaker, even larger than than parent company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which owns 20 percent.

Mitsubishi eK Wagon Space

Mitsubishi has been hurting since their last scandal in 2000, regarding a massive coverup of defects dating back to 1977. In the last few years, a large amount of talent has jumped ship and the recent revelation of Mitsubishi Motors’ cheating on fuel economy has only shortened the noose.

Since April 19th, when the scandal came to light — which, incidentally, was brought to the attention of the Japanese government by Nissan, so conspiracy theorists start your engines! — its stock has plummeted 43 percent and orders for new cars have fallen as much as 51 percent. CEO Osamu Masuko stated that Mitsubishi Motors hopes to sort out these issues on their own without involving any of the other Mitsubishi Group companies in this issue.

001_Nissan Gallery Yokohama

It now appears that the solution is Nissan, who will benefit from Mitsubishi’s kei car expertise (currently, all of Nissan’s kei cars are rebadged Mitsubishis and Suzukis) and its reach in regions like southeast Asia. In fact, domestic sales are only 10 percent of Mitsubishi’s total business.

It will be interesting to see how this consolidation from two major players in the Japanese auto industry play out. Almost exactly one year ago, Toyota and Mazda also entered into a technology sharing partnership. Juggernauts are being created, and the message to other Japanese automakers might be to merge or get left behind.

The Nissan-Mitsubishi deal will be formally signed May 25.

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22 Responses to NEWS: Nissan to take control of Mitsubishi Motors

  1. Nigel says:

    Hmm, and it is not April 1st ! (Very interesting).

  2. Emilio says:

    Free evo x for everyone ? Or free gtr giveaway ill take either or

  3. Geoff D says:

    Since it’s a done deal now, I wonder how soon it will be before everything from Mitsubishi comes with a VQ35.

  4. bernardo reyna says:

    Renault now owns a part of the Mitsubishi and Nissan not

  5. Josh Mead says:

    im cool with this, look at the things nissan has given it’s people over the years, basically a ton of great platforms and a lot of really fun engines. Hopefully they steer mitsu back into the fun arena.

    • dickie says:

      totally. moving to a v6, cvt, crossover platform designed to fulfill everything from getting groceries to picking up the kids from afterschool activities is the order of the day when it comes to fun. whatever they provide mitsu, you can bet it will be a better idea than the new lancer/evo x iteration.

      can’t wait to see a juke-based outlander, a juke-based galant, a juke-based lancer and possibly an n/a v6 cvt evo 5-door. just hope it doesn’t cannibalize those ever-important Altima fleet contracts.

      • Randy says:

        Okay, you triggered a thought for me.

        WHAT IF:

        Using Nissan’s Nismo philosophy, and some tech, there would be Evo versions of more vehicles? Sort of how Chevy does “SS” with multiple lines – at least how they DID…

        I’d actually be cool with Outlander Evo, Attrage Evo, etc. Turbos, AWD, stick shift(!!!), lowered/tightened suspension, etc.

      • Randy says:

        Oops – said “would be;” meant COULD be…” Duh…

      • RavenAii says:

        Mitsubishi probably spawn new generation of Lancer based on the new Nissan Sentra/Sylphy since both of the vehicle dimension are about the same and Mistu are currently looking for a Lancer replacement…

  6. Yoda says:

    Could be worse. They could’ve been glommed onto Fiat-Chrysler.

    • Randy says:

      I’d disagree with you, EXCEPT FOR the Fiat side of things.

      I actually liked the OLD Chrysler-Mitsu partnership; but today, I just don’t know…

  7. Toasty says:

    So glad they didn’t get taken by Fiat, although they would probably be the most likely to bring the Mitsu pickup stateside (which could still happen).

  8. Randy says:

    I guess that answers my question about whether Mitsu could take that mpg scandal hit…

    Nismo Mirage? New GT-R-powered Evo?

    . . . But seriously, isn’t there some possible violation if Nissan actually outed the mpg problems with a sort-of partner, then used that to bring down the stock prices to force Mitsu to accept their offer? Something just smells questionable there…

    • Wayne Thomas says:

      Its just business.

      Can’t avoid being political, but the Libertarian delusional fantasy of a free market has not ever and can never exist in real life. Japanese daimyo never went away and war is nor waged in board rooms with pens rather than on fields with swords.

      • Randy says:

        Not disagreeing, but it just seems that “a Japanese version of the SEC” would be interested… If they even have such a thing.

        Can’t help myself; I like to think that the Japanese are more moral/ethical than those that pollute our western businesses. Obviously, I could be wrong, and TOTALLY delusional.

  9. Luis says:

    Please bring back the eclipse

  10. Gordon says:

    ” GTR + Evolution = Revolution ”
    -Gordon Yeong

    About fucking time this happened.

    • dickie says:

      mitsu scrapped the evo and Nissan sells the GTR in numbers so small that it contributes almost nothing appreciable to their overall revenue. it’s a halo car – but really more of a justification – for what has increasingly become an appliance manufacturer. they tend to make business decisions to maximize margins vs. providing an authentic driving experience for the end user where development is concerned.

      with that eye towards “what will sell” vs. “what appeals to the niche consumer,” you can bet that Nissan won’t be in a hurry to resurrect any performance nameplates under the red triple diamond with their controlling interest. if anything, i’d guess they will gut the lineup and focus on developing a few new models based on a shared modular architecture. no idea when that will trickle down, but i’ll be watching for notices of plant closures and sunsetting of powertrains.

      • Robbie says:

        Those are some harsh words for Nissan, Dickie. But I have to agree with you on the direction Nissan has headed since Yoshikazu Hanawa stepped down, and Carlos Ghosn from the French company Renault took over. I truly admire the craftsmanship and engineering of Datsun’s, and the Nissan’s of the late 90’s.

        They built an excellent racing heritage, along with reliable, efficient, and really fun to drive vehicles that DID cater to drivers and enthusiasts alike. It feels like that mind set has died with the original Godzilla in 2002…

        Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any plans to “return to their roots” anytime soon. It’s a shame, but I still love the Nissan’s and Datsun’s of the past and hope someone will take over the CEO position and make Nissan a great motor company again…

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