Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and NMKV Co., Ltd celebrated the first jointly-developed minicar from the two automakers that rolled-off the assembly line at Mitsubishi’s Mizushima Plant in Japan.
The new mini-car is to be launched under the different model names per manufacturer. For Nissan, it will be labeled as the Nissan DAYZ and DAYZ Highway STAR, while the Mitsubishi variant is to get the Mitsubishi eK Wagon and eK Custom nameplate.
The ceremony was attended by Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga, Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko, NMKV Chief Executive Officer Junichi Endo and local guests.
"Through the cooperation in minicar business, we enjoy the volume merit, maximize the synergy effect by adopting each other's know-how and experiences in the process of development and production, and have created the product which is competitive enough to competitors taking a lead in the market. We would like to show our presence in the minicar market in Japan" said Mitsubishi Motors President Masuko. "We will continuously expand this collaboration maximizing synergy with Nissan."
The new model was created with a totally different approach from the conventional OEM, where NMKV, a joint venture formed by Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, combined strength of both companies in every step of car manufacturing.
"The new minicar jointly planned and developed by NMKV, a Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan joint venture, is a combination of expertise of both companies while maintaining individuality of each brand. This is a result of new collaboration which is innovative even for industry," said Nissan COO Shiga at the ceremony. "Three companies will continuously work together so that Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan and NMKV will lead the minicar market in Japan."
Some of the unique features in the minicars developed under the NMKV partnership were the high level of attraction that it has as compared to most minicars, best-in-class fuel economy, a high-quality interior, and a touch-screen automatic air-conditioning system.
"I'm pleased to celebrate the off-line of the first model which NMKV planned and developed. Product planning and development at the joint venture were all a whole new experience for us. Thanks to passion and strong will of all employees, we achieved a new way of how we should join forces. We will continuously make great cars, which can be developed only through a unique collaboration by three companies," said NMKV CEO Endo.
Following the first model, NMKV is now developing a super height wagon-type minicar as its second model, slated to be on sale at the beginning of 2014.