Following the takeover of Mitsubishi by Nissan, it would be no surprise if we were to see some models utilizing the same underpinnings to save on cost. This may soon be approaching as Mitsubishi and new parent company Nissan, are currently studying the joint production of pickup trucks in the South East Asian region.
The two groups may jointly develop the underpinnings and production of their next generation Triton/Strada and Navara, both of which are currently being built in Thailand, said Mitsubishi Chief Operating Officer Trevor Mann. Mitsubishi's pickup architecture is likely to be the basis of the future alliance models, Mann further added.
Currently, Nissan and Mitsubishi design and produce their own frame-based pickups on separate plants, each having their own fundamental design and manufacturing differences. With the development of common architectures, it would allow one plant to specialize in pickups, while the other can build cars and SUVs, increasing productivity at both sites.
Furthermore, cooperation will likely extend as well to other countries in the region where the companies have plants, which includes the Philippines. However, the pickups are likely to stay based in Thailand where they account for majority of sales.
Since the current models of the Navara and Strada were launched just recently, it would still be a few years away before a replacement comes along. Hence, the development and production using a joint underpinnings will take some time.
This joint development between Nissan and Mitsubishi pickups would not be the first as Nissan had previously outsourced production of the Navara to Mitsubishi. The two companies however had a falling out which led to Nissan opening up their own plant for the Navara in Thailand.
Now under the ownership of Nissan, Mitsubishi hopes to bounce back from their slump. Their first steps would be finding ways to save development costs along with being able to boost sales.