Nissan Motors announced Thursday that it will be purchasing a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors for $2.1 billion. The buying up of Mitsubishi shares will give Nissan a controlling stake in the carmaker.
The move comes just days after Mitsubishi admitted it had knowingly manipulated fuel economy tests on some of its global subcompact models. Intriguingly, the fraudulent efficiency figures affect Nissan, too, as the two had a technical partnership for several years. This meant Nissan sold rebadged Mitsubishi models as its own.
Going forward, the brands will further share vehicle platforms and technology as well as utilize global production facilities. Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn emphasized that Nissan will respect the Mitsubishi brand and history by growing its presence.
Simply put, though Nissan surely feels burned by Mitsubishi’s fuel economy faking, it needs Mitsubishi’s small-car prowess. Once the deal is finalized in late May, Nissan can effectively run full throttle with Mitsubishi vehicles into burgeoning global markets — likely under the newly reinstated Datsun economy brand.
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