Fiat and Mitsubishi Motors have finally agreed on the much-rumored joint pickup truck project. The two automakers announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and manufacture a mid-size pick-up truck, supplied by Mitsubishi and based on the next generation of L200.
Mitsubishi is set to start manufacturing of the new L200 otherwise known as the Strada or Triton at their plant in Laemchabang, Thailand later this year. The model is based on the GR-HEV concept debuted in Geneva last year and currently on display at the 5th Philippine International Motor Show. We managed to get some spy shots of the upcoming pickup while on the inspection line.
The Fiat-baged pickup is expected to be offered under the Fiat Professional lineup as promised by CEO Sergio Marchionne in his new business plan announced after the Fiat-Chrysler merger. Under the ambitious new plan, group sales were expected to rise 60% by 2018. The Fiat-baged pickup based on the L200 will begin production in early 2016. Incidentally, Fiat also has a smaller pickup model called the 'Strada' which is sold in Brazil.
This will be the second deal between the two companies after an agreement to supply Mitsubishi Mirage G4-based compact sedans to Chrysler Mexico was inked last July.
The deal is also seen as a boost to Mitsubishi Thailand’s plant which has suffered an output drop due to lower domestic sales following political instability in the country. The plant currently produces the Mirage hatchback, Mirage G4/Attrage sedan, L200 pickup and Montero Sport/Pajero Sport SUV.