Ghosn Wants a Better Mitsubishi, Not a Merger With Nissan

Carlos Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn, the CEO for both Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, says a full merger between the two automakers is out of the question. Instead, he wants Mitsubishi to get its act together and strengthen the greater alliance, which also includes Renault. Nissan purchased a controlling stake in Mitsubishi for $2.3 billion in 2016 after the smaller automaker weathered years of profitability issues and admitted to posting misleading fuel economy estimates.

While Ghosn agrees that Mitsubishi and Nissan should co-develop a select number of vehicles, he wants to help the brand bring itself back from the brink by focusing on its strengths and fixing its weaknesses.

“A full merger is not on the table. We want Mitsubishi to reform itself,” said said at the opening ceremony for a new Mitsubishi factory in Jakarta on Tuesday. 

Talks of a full merger had been rumored for some time, but the CEO’s words have extinguished that speculation for the foreseeable future. Instead, Nissan will likely invest its energy into hoisting Mitsubishi up in North America while taking advantage of its pre-existing production and distribution networks in Asia — especially as it relates to small affordable vehicles.

According to Reuters, Mitsubishi’s chief operating officer Trevor Mann said in March that the two automakers were already studying joint assembly options of pickup trucks in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, CEO Osamu Masuko stated that he believed Mitsubishi will possess a 10-percent share of Indonesia’s car market within three years. The brand currently holds a 6-percent share. Both companies are also deeply embedded in Thailand, but have shifted focus since Indonesia overtook it as the regions largest market.

[Image: Nissan]