The next-generation Mitsubishi cars for sale in Japan will use platforms from Nissan as the former plans to stop the development of new car platforms specifically for their home market. The current Mitsubishi eK Kei car is already a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Nissan.
Platforms, which not just includes the chassis but also the electrical architecture, are the highest expenditure for any automaker, contributing up to half the vehicle development cost. They are usually used for over a decade in the model’s lifecycle as well as spread upon a few body types, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan and the Mitsubishi ASX crossover.
As the shift to legislation for zero-emission vehicles exponentially increases, a medium-sized automaker such as Mitsubishi Motors does not have the resources to fund research and development for multiple platforms and powertrain solutions.
Japanese news portal Nikkei Asia shared that by 2026, Mitsubishi Motors will offer Kei cars as well as SUVs and vans using Nissan platforms and powertrains for their home market of Japan. The exterior and interior will still be Mitsubishi’s own design and flavour, as seen in the differences in the Mitsubishi eK and Nissan Dayz Kei car joint venture project.
The first phase of the next-generation platform sharing has already started, with the all-new 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander sharing many technologies and you’ve guessed it, the platform with the all-new 2021 Nissan X-Trail.
Dropping the budget for a relatively small volume product and adopting an ally’s technology will allow Mitsubishi to focus on further research and development on electric vehicle technologies. The plan is to reduce the current count of eight platforms to just four by March 2026, two of which is specifically for us here in the ASEAN region.
As the Mitsubishi Triton pick-up is a huge sales volume and profit contributor to the company, it is no surprise that this will be prioritised with rumours that the all-new Nissan Navara will share the pick-up platform. The second is probably the electrified version of the Mitsubishi Xpander MPV that currently enjoying brisk sales in the region.
The remaining two platforms are reported to be co-developed with Nissan offering large portions of electrified propulsion such as plug-in hybrid technology as well as fully-electric.
Other Japanese companies have also embarked on platform sharing and cooperation towards the shift to a line-up of zero-emission vehicles. Toyota and Subaru will offer their first EV in the form of the bZ4X and Solterra SUV, while Honda has teamed up with General Motors (GM) in the US to introduce their range of EVs.