Recently, a report hit the wire claiming that Nissan was on the verge of buying a controlling interest in struggling automaker, Mitsubishi. Today, that report becomes a reality as Nissan has officially dropped a few dump trucks filled with cash at Mitsu’s front door.
All in, Nissan dumped a total of $2.2 billion to gain 34 percent ownership of Mitsubishi, which is currently stuck in the middle of a fuel-economy scandal in Asia. This purchase not only gives the struggling brand a parent company with a better rep, but it also gives Nissan access to Mitsu’s Japan-spec city cars—a segment that Nissan is struggling to compete in.
This deal also helps out Nissan in two other ways. First, it gives the automaker access to Mitsubishi’s EV technology, which has been its focus in recent years. This will help Nissan battle the fuel-cell vehicles that Honda and Toyota are focused on. Second, it instantaneously shoves the Renault-Nissan Alliance into the running for the world’s largest automaker as Renault-Nissan and Mitsu combined to sell 9.6 million vehicles in 2015—roughly 400,000 fewer than the top three.
New influence from Nissan will likely be felt all the way to the U.S., where Mitsubishi struggles to keep its footing. Nissan’s build quality and Mitsubishi’s pricing may be just the kick that the embattled brand needs to keep its U.S. offices open.
We’ll bring you more as this new partnership matures, so stay tuned.