Here's an interesting insight into the new Nissan-Mitsubishi relationship.
After the press conference for the presentation of the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 this past Monday, we took a few minutes to ask the president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Mr. Osamu Masuko, of one seemingly distant possibility: Given the new relationship between Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., could Mitsubishi also produce Nissan models at their plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna?
“Eventually, yes. It's very possible.” was the reply of the CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.
We asked the question after a series of events that could have made the move not only possible, but feasible.
Firstly, after an issue with a Japan-only model that Mitsubishi supplied Nissan, the latter acquired a controlling stake in MMC. As such, Mitsubishi is now a full partner in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, a global automotive partnership.
It was a timely and opportune move for Nissan. Among others, Nissan seeks to improve their brand's market position in South East Asia; a region where Mitsubishi is quite strong in, especially the Philippines. A synergy between the two companies could elevate the prospects of the Nissan brand in the region.
Secondly, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation acquired their current automotive factory at Santa Rosa, Laguna a few years back. The plant has a higher capacity than their former facility at Cainta, Rizal; the maximum output is at 50,000 units a year, but they're looking at increasing the figure to 100,000 units.
Currently, Mitsubishi produces the L300 and Adventure at the factory. Recently Mitsubishi added the Mirage G4 to the line of locally assembled models, and will be followed by the Mirage hatchback, but will have to cease production of the Adventure by end of 2017 due to the new Euro-4 legal requirements set by the government.
To maximize the higher capacity of the factory and achieve better economies, it's beneficial for MMC and MMPC to also work on assembling Nissan's models there in the future. As to what the model (or models) would be, time will tell.