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by Tim Beissmann

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have announced plans to explore several new projects involving shared products, technologies and manufacturing capacity.

The expansion of the existing NMKV joint venture between the Mitsubishi and Nissan will lead to the co-development of an all-new global city car, available with petrol and electric powertrains. The new vehicle will be built on a jointly developed ‘kei car’ platform – the type used to underpin the smallest models in the Japanese market.

The companies will share EV technologies and product assets in an effort to streamline and fast track their development of electric vehicles.

Mitsubishi will also benefit from two new sedans based on Renault models.

The first will be a medium/large ‘D-segment’ model built at Renault-Samsung’s plant in South Korea for the US and Canada. Mitsubishi’s sedan is expected to be based on the successor to the Renault Latitude, which is set to merge with the European Laguna to form a single model line from 2015.

The second will be a small ‘C-segment’ sedan designed to compete in markets around the world. The manufacturing location and a production timeline for this model is still under discussion.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation president Osamu Masuko and Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn both welcomed the expansion of the partnership, which they insist will create new opportunities for both car makers.

The existing NMKV joint venture established in June 2011 led to the development of the Mitsubishi eK wagon and Nissan Dayz kei cars, which went into production and on sale in Japan this year.




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