Nissan takes 34% controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors

Automakers to collaborate on electric vehicles and Asia operations




The Nissan Dayz, which sales halted for over two months due to the fuel efficiency scandal (Photo: Nissan)

 This report will cover the announcement of Mitsubishi Motors’ scandal over fuel efficiency testing misconduct, the stoppage of sales of the Mitsubishi eK Wagon/Nissan Dayz mini car series, the details of the resumption of production and sales in July 2016, and how these events acted as a catalyst for Nissan to acquire 34% of Mitsubishi’s shares, leading to Mitsubishi’s reconstruction under Nissan.

 On April 20 2016, Mitsubishi Motors announced that there has been misconduct in its fuel consumption calculations for the Mitsubishi eK Wagon/Nissan Dayz mini car series. This led the companies to stop sales of the respective vehicles. The fuel consumption misconduct was discovered in the driving resistance value testing process. On June 17, new fuel consumption figures for the eK series were released, and Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan announced that both companies would pay their consumers a flat fee of JPY 100,000 as compensation for damages. Production and sales of the eK series resumed in July.

 On May 12 Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors announced that Nissan will acquire 34% of the company’ shares and become its largest shareholder. This will give Nissan annual sales of 9.5 million vehicles together with Renault and AvtoVAZ, and secure its position as a competitor against Toyota, VW, and GM, which have sales in the 10 million vehicles range. 

 Nissan will cooperate with Mitsubishi in business fields such as the development of electrified vehicles, with Nissan developing EVs and Mitsubishi Motors developing plug-in hybrid vehicles. Additionally, by cooperating with Mitsubishi Motors, which has a constant presence in Southeast Asia, the two companies aim to achieve a synergistic effect. As for the mini car business, the next-generation eK Wagon series will primarily be developed by Nissan, and like current models, they will be produced at Mitsubishi Motors’ Mizushima factory.

 Mitsubishi Motors’ management crisis from the fuel efficiency scandal triggered the OEM's restructuring. However, the company was reported to have chosen to be restructured under Nissan because it had judged itself unable to develop electrified and autonomous vehicle on its own in the mid- to long-term.

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