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Mitsubishi, Nissan mid-size sedan project stalls
Lindsay Chappell
Automotive News
January 25, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO -- A plan for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to supply Mitsubishi dealers with a midsize sedan has stalled, according to a senior U.S. Mitsubishi executive.

The high-level joint venture between the alliance and Mitsubishi Motors was announced in late 2013, and has been a bright hope for Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers who are hungry for new product.

But Mitsubishi informed dealers Sunday morning at their NADA franchise make meeting that the plan has reached an unspecified impasse.

“I told them that the plan has stalled,” says Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors North America. “And I said that’s really all I can tell you at this time.”

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The deal -- announced in Nov. 2013 -- called for a broad exchange of products and technologies between Mitsubishi and the Renault-Nissan alliance. Several of the deal’s pieces concerned initiatives outside the United States -- such as the sharing of a very small Japan-only “kei” car.

But for hungry Mitsubishi dealers in America, the deal’s promise for a new Mitsubishi-brand D-segment sedan from Nissan or Renault beamed from the announcement like glowing ink. It is not clear which sedan would be picked.
Not sure if we were expecting anything all that unique from the partnership, but certainly would have been a boon for dealers until Mitsubishi came up with a home grown product (or looked to a partner like FCA, Mazda, or Suzuki for a co-developed product?).

Still, if they are looking at the larger Renault-Nissan Alliance, I bet they could have used the Renault-Samsung SM5 (or a similar product) to import to the States. Roger Penske approached Renault about doing just that when he was toying with purchasing Saturn's franchise system from GM. He needed to get products in the stores until a long-term solution could be found. Mitusbishi's attempt to secure a product through a similar strategy has merit, especially as their dealers are hungry for product.

I wish them well.
 

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Mitsu.... has got more than a wee bit too much 'connection' with Toyota to ever make a great partner choice - for anyone - at this point.
 

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Mitsubishi really needs something in the midsize segment and a new Lancer. The Evo was an important icon too so it's really not a good idea for them to discontinue that as well. They really might not be in the US market much longer. At least the Lancer they should redesign yesterday. The platform and styling were still good, but it needed a new dose of refinement and tech. It's surprising how well that vehicle actually aged considering not too much has been done to it over the years. They could actually make that vehicle quite relevant again but I'm not sure why they don't do it - financially it may not be viable.
 

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I dis agree and Mits had DONE VERY WELL as a partner with ChryCo and Hyundai for over 20 years
Hyundai wisely left that party long ago.

Notice, did far better after, as did Chrysler.

Chrysler.... eh yeah sometimes short term to certain eyes but nope, not in a longterm sense.

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The problem with the Mitsu / Toyota connection is or centers or 'starts' way above the Auto activities of both.

You should not trust them even as far as you can throw the HQ building.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some more information on this that I recently came across:

Planned Mitsubishi sedan falls victim to currency woes

But Mitsubishi pulled the plug last month, saying it ended the feasibility study after failing to reach a “win-win” outcome for the project. The main sticking point, according to one executive: The sudden appreciation of the Korean won against the dollar and Japanese yen made the car simply too expensive.
So it seems that what many of us thought regarding using the SM5 from Renault-Samsung was valid.

Still, while currency issues are a valid reason, you have to wonder if there's something more going on here. GM and Opel import vehicles from Korea to the US and Europe and they're able to be sold profitably despite currency fluctuations. I wonder if there's something else behind the story.
 

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Maybe this means that the SM5 or its next iteration will land in the US on its own - perhaps R/N will finally merge their large car lines?
It certainly wouldn't be a bad idea since there exists minimal overlap anyway. The SM5/Latitude could really use a redesign to compete with (depending on the region) the Mondeo/Passat or Sonata, not to mention if it was badged as a Galant the need to compete with the Camcord. But theoretically it could compete with all of these, while the larger SM7 is mostly sold as the RS car and not as often a Renault. That's something they could largely just rebadge the 2016 Maxima for and sell as a Mitsubishi or RS car in various markets. Speaking of which, does anyone know if RS has more global ambitions or if they're planning on staying in Asia for now? Just wondering as they are, like SsangYong, one of the Korean brands that could feasibly go more global.

Some more information on this that I recently came across:

Planned Mitsubishi sedan falls victim to currency woes

So it seems that what many of us thought regarding using the SM5 from Renault-Samsung was valid.

Still, while currency issues are a valid reason, you have to wonder if there's something more going on here. GM and Opel import vehicles from Korea to the US and Europe and they're able to be sold profitably despite currency fluctuations. I wonder if there's something else behind the story.
Yeah I'm not sure what the issue is, exactly.
 
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