Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi have once again joined forces in making of their next generation minicars or Kei cars. The two companies are set to sign a memorandum of understanding for his new undertaking.
This is not the first time the two have collaborated. Nissan currently shared their NV200 van and Fuga luxury sedan with Mitsubishi's Delica D:3 and Proudia Dignity. The two were also supposed to build a one ton pick-up together back in 2010 but plans fell through last year.
"Nissan's deeper involvement in development operations for next generation minicars will enable the easier application of advanced safety and eco-friendly technologies in larger vehicles. This new opportunity will enable us to deliver even more competitive vehicles to consumers by enhancing our product and lineup, by strengthening our partnership and combining the expertise of both companies." said Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan CCO.
The joint venture is called NMKV and the two companies will be sharing platforms for the popular Kei car class. First established in June 2011, the two companies have made two cars under the partnership, namely the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK Wagon twins and the Nissan Dayz Roox and Mitsubishi eK Space. The primary objective of this joint venture is to “develop more competitive products by optimizing resource allocation and their respective roles and responsibilities”. As for their roles, Nissan will be more focused on design and development while Mitsubishi will be responsible for manufacturing. Cars under this collaboration will be built at Mitsubishi's Mizushima Plant.
"Producing the new models at our Mizushima Plant, after the current model production ends, will help us further accelerate the improvement activities on which the three companies have been working together in the areas of production costs, efficiency and quality, and this will lead us to introduce more competitive products," said Mitsubishi President and COO Tetsuro Aikawa.
Under the NMKV venture, sales for Nissan and Mitsubishi Kei cars have reached a combined total of 500,000 units. The new agreement seeks to strengthen the relationship between the two and the companies Future projects of the collaboration are aimed towards an electric powered Kei car. At the moment, planning and development of a minicar EV is currently underway.