We at AutoIndustriya.com always like throwing automotive executives some interesting questions, and we like it even more when they talk about a new model for the near future. Things like release dates and what platform a vehicle will ride on are the ones that tickle our fancy as they give us a clearer idea of what to expect from them in a few years’ time.
We didn’t, however, expect a senior executive of a deeply Japanese company like Mitsubishi to do so; but perhaps because he wasn’t Japanese.
Trevor Mann, the Chief Operations Officer for Mitsubishi Motors, confirmed that the new generation Outlander crossover will be released in 2021. The confirmation came during a press conference at the global premiere of the new Mitsubishi Triton (Strada and/or L200 in other markets).
Furthermore, he confirmed that the Outlander will be built on a platform that will be shared with Nissan (presumably the next generation X-Trail) and Renault (Koleos, presumably).
The announcement of these plans is interesting because it is taking place after Nissan had acquired a 34% stake in Mitsubishi, effectively making Nissan the single largest shareholder of Mitsubishi and bringing the company into the successful Renault-Nissan Alliance. Trevor Mann himself is a former Nissan executive charged with improving the company’s performance and was assigned to Mitsubishi following the acquisition of the shares.
The companies are now pushing for enhanced synergies: cooperation in all the aspects of a car company's operations from design, engineering, manufacturing, and even management. More importantly, Mann said that they are using the leveraging power of an that sells nearly 11 million cars worldwide, as opposed to individual companies that sell their respective fractions of that.
Mr. Guillaume Cartier, Mitsubishi's Senior VP Global Marketing & Sales and himself also a Nissan appointee, painted a rather interesting picture with regards to the planned platform sharing between the “tri-alliance” members. He said it's like a restaurant buffet; there are many types of dishes served, but its up to each company to pick the dishes they want to serve, depending on their identity and their tastes.