Nissan Takes 34% Ownership And Control Of Mitsubishi, Nissan Outlander PHEV Anyone?

2 years ago by Jay Cole 29

Carlos Ghosn To Add To His Auto Manufacturing Collection

Carlos Ghosn Adds To His Auto Manufacturing Collection

Mitsubishi has been knee-deep in a efficiency/emission scandal of its own in Japan, that has threatened to spread to the US and elsewhere, causing doubts over the future viability of the company.

Enter Nissan.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Complete With Now Ironic Tag Line

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Complete With Now Ironic Tag Line

Update (May 12th 7:00AM)  

After sitting down on Thursday, Nissan and Mitsubishi hammered out an agreement where Nissan acquires 34% of Mitsubishi Motors, giving it control of the smaller auto maker.

In total, Nissan is paying 237.4 billion yen ($2.18 billion) for Mitsu.  The company states the deal will by finalized by May 25, and that it would receive newly minted Mitsubishi Motors shares.

As expected Nissan will get the appropriate amount of board seats, and Nissan states today that a new chairman of Mitsubishi Motors is incoming, and will be a Nissan nominee under the guidelines of the deal struck Thursday.  *cough* Carlos Ghosn *cough*

With the purchase, Nissan will be the largest shareholder, passing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which owns 20%.

Carlos Ghosn on his new job the deal:Nissan is determined to preserve and nurture the Mitsubishi Motors brand. We will help this company address the challenges it faces, particularly restoring consumer trust in the fuel-economy performance.”

Nissan and Mitsu already had a 50-50 joint venture on minicars which sees them made by Mitsubishi and sold through Nissan.

It is these minicars that have caused the efficiency scandal, and likely were key in giving Nissan enough settlement leverage to acquire the Japanese auto maker, as Mitsubishi had stated that Nissan had no knowledge or part in the doctoring of data on the four minicars now under investigation.

Nissan DAYZ and Mitsubishi eK Minicars

Nissan DAYZ and Mitsubishi eK Minicars

Nikkei notes Mitsubishi’s minicar and current financial situation:

“Minicars account for 60% of Mitsubishi Motors’ domestic (Japan) sales volume. But the company is financially sound for now, with an equity ratio of 48% and 450 billion yen in cash and equivalents as of the end of March. But a string of scandals since the 2000s has eroded consumer trust in the company. The impact on sales will undoubtedly extend beyond minicars.”

Mitsubishi eX Concept

Mitsubishi eX Concept

Nissan’s footprint in Japan is 30% made up of minicars via Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi recently passed the 100,000 sold mark for the Outlander PHEV – and that is without logging any sales yet in the US; those start this Fall. Mitsubishi also has several new plug-in SUV vehicles planned to arrive in the market over the next few years – something which Nissan-Renault sorely lacks.

Now only two question remain:  Can Nissan-Renault-AvtoVAZ CEO Carlos Ghosn really manage a 4th auto maker?  And natually, who is next?

Last year almost 125,000 plug-ins were sold between the 4 companies, representing almost a quarter of the segment overall, with some 475,000 sold cumulatively.

This year ~36,000 EVs have been sold by the collective group during the first quarter, or about 27% of the worldwide market.


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29 responses to "Nissan Takes 34% Ownership And Control Of Mitsubishi, Nissan Outlander PHEV Anyone?"

  1. RN says:

    Crazy, Nissan buy and sell the Outlander PHEV bit faster round the world in Roque shape :-). Or also the eX Concept, want one.

  2. Ocean Railroader says:

    I wounder would Nissan start putting their far more powerful leaf batteries into the Mitsubishi i-miev to double or even triple the range of it.

    1. Nemo says:

      i-MiEV battery is 16 kWh, 2016 Leaf is 30 kWh. That’s not quite double, much less triple.

      1. Cavaron says:

        But Leaf2 is said to have 60 kWh – that more than triples it 😉

        1. Get Real says:

          Please let us know when you see one (2nd Gen Leaf)!

    2. Dan says:

      You can’t fit a larger pack into the iMiev. Larger packs are heavier and take up more volume. It’s not like Mitsubishi didn’t know that larger packs exist. Come on, dude.

  3. Nemo says:

    Interesting. I wonder if this will mean anything for current i-MiEV owners like myself.

  4. William says:

    Rouge AWD PHEV, like the Outlander that you can actually purchase with 50 mi. EV range here in the U.S.! Please no more waiting games. An added bonus option would be a ChadEmo/ CCS-combo capable fast charge. 20 kWh battery would be the ice-ing on the cake. Thanks Carlos for bringing it ASAP.

  5. Ford Prefect says:

    This might help phase out the CHADEMO standard…

    1. Aaron says:

      How is that? Mitsubishi and Nissan BOTH use the CHAdeMO standard.

  6. MTN Ranger says:

    So now CHAdeMO will have ONE company supporting it. Good luck!

    1. DonC says:

      Ha ha. Funny. But it’s more models than companies and more units on the road than models.

      With the combo chargers doesn’t seem like it matters much.

  7. Lad says:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right!

  8. Scott says:

    PHEV small SUV, please and thank you. Looked at a Rav4 hybrid this morning, to replace my very thirsty 4Runner. Something with a plug in this segment will get my money.

    1. tom911 says:

      agreed – been waiting for 4 years.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      Saw my first Pacifica ad, last night, with Jim Gaffigan. Pretty good:

      Unfortunately, doesn’t look like any hybrid (PHEV) spot.

      1. Rightofthepeople says:

        Interesting ad. In a way, this could be a good thing. They are marketing the vehicle without even mentioning the plug-in capability. That appeals to a much wider audience, and then when they come in for a test drive they say “what’s this plug thingy?” And at that point they discover the van also has an incredibly efficient drivetrain, bonus!

  9. offib says:

    What would be a better outcome? Mitsu accessing Nissan’s, and in part, Renault and LG Chem’s batteries? Or Nissan accessing Mitsubishi-Yuasa’s batteries? The ones found in the Outlander PHEV which are more durable and cheaper.

    Regarding the latter one, it might be good potential for Nissan to make that cheap electric car for China.

    1. Mart Shearer says:

      Nissan accessing Mitsubishi’s thermal management system?

      1. Big Solar says:


        1. Aaron says:

          The i-MiEV doesn’t use a thermal management system, however their batteries don’t seem to degrade like the LEAF’s either.

          The Outlander PHEV does have a thermal management system, so I wonder what made Mitsubishi change course?

          1. offib says:

            The i’MiEV definitely has a fan that exports hot air out of the exhaust while charging. Not sure about the Outlander, but it’s bound too.

            It’ll certainly be a welcomed addition compared to letting your cells roast under charge just after being tired out.

      2. Nero says:

        Nissan has it. My e-nv200 having air cooled battery

        regards to i-miev, I owned a clone (Peugeot iOn), it had air conditioning unit blowing cold air to the battery. Was noisy while charging, Nissan is not so noisy when blows air down, but ignition must be off while charging, otherwise its not working and just letting the battery to heat

  10. Jeffrey Songster says:

    This seems a fantastic deal for Renault/Nissan. They needed to deal with Mitsu on many fronts… there are many synergies here. Even if they just start cranking out 16 and 24kWh batteried iMiev Volusia variants as cheaply as possible for the chinese market which is apparently on fire these days for cheap EVs.

  11. ydnas7 says:

    1,2 & 3rd place on the podium for Europe’s plug in vehicles now report to Carlos. Its a clean sweep.

    just check out EV-sales blog

  12. Pete says:

    I don’t know how Carlos could lead Renault-Nissan with its under brands datsun, infiniti and Dacia and next Mitsubishi?
    He should have bought 30 % Tesla shares in 2010 :-).

  13. Alex says:

    Here some update on next Leaf design:
    “He said the next Leaf would look “advanced” compared with the current generation, which looks “unique.” He said the sporty, wedge-shaped IDS Concept hints at the Leaf’s future direction. The goal is to underscore the car’s new technology.”–order-bank-challenges-nissan

    IDS= LEAF 2 would be hot!

  14. Just_Chris says:

    This gives Nissan the best phev battery in the business. As people have pointed out there is no thermal management system but no degradation – all the bang for none of the Buck. It’s not got great energy density but that’s ok for a phev. Hopefully Nissan will provide the funds to dramatically increase battery production.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      No thermal management system but “no degradation”? That’s a pretty tall tale.

      If it doesn’t have TMS, it’s not the “best PHEV battery” in the business. Show me a 3-year-old Outlander in Arizona and we can talk about this magical degradation-proof battery.