The collaboration agreement announced this week by Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi will include the co-development of an electric vehicle based on the tiny "kei car" compact platform. Details are vague, but the companies say the car will eventually be sold worldwide. Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi founded their NMKV joint venture in June 2011, and the first resulting kei car went public in the form of both the Nissan Dayz and the Mitsubishi eK wagon. Those cars are built at Mitsubishi's Mizushima factory in Japan.

The collaboration will also manifest itself in a full-size Mitsubishi sedan based on a Renault platform that will be sold in North America and made at Renault-Samsung's South Korea plant. The partnership will additionally make a C-segment sedan, though no details were disclosed.

Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi are looking to complement each other by accelerating electric-drive powertrain technology. Renault-Nissan has primarily made its mark in the EV world with the Nissan Leaf, which started sales in the US in 2010 and has been having a record sales year in 2013 thus far. Mitsubishi started selling its all-electric i-MiEV in Japan in 2009 but the car (as the i) has met with limited success in the US. Check out a press release for the announcement below.
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Renault-Nissan Alliance & Mitsubishi Motors corporation explore wide ranging global product and technology cooperation
November 05, 2013

Renault-Nissan Alliance & Mitsubishi Motors corporation explore wide ranging global product and technology cooperation

New projects to drive global product coverage and capacity utilization

Amsterdam, Netherlands / Tokyo, Japan (November 5, 2013) – The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced their joint intention to explore several new projects covering shared products, technologies and manufacturing capacity among the automakers. As a consequence, it has been agreed that the strategic cooperation between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors could be expanded across the broader Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, it is expected that the existing NMKV joint-venture company will be extended to co-develop a new small-segment car including a specific electric version that can be sold on a global basis. The basis for this product will be from a jointly-developed 'Kei car' platform of the type popular in the Japanese domestic market. Further details of all products, markets and manufacturing will be announced separately.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation are also confirming their intention to share technologies and product assets related to electric vehicles and latest-generation platforms. Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors were among the first to pioneer the introduction of mass-marketed zero emission products.

Based on the current direction of discussions between Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, it is firstly expected that two new sedan models would be launched under the Mitsubishi brand, based on vehicles from the Renault portfolio. Secondary and additional studies around other projects will then be considered.

The first sedan, to compete in the full-size D-segment markets of the United States and Canada and would be manufactured at the Renault-Samsung plant in Busan, South Korea.

The second sedan model would compete in the global C-segment. The manufacturing location for this product is under discussion.

President and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn said: "Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have jointly benefited from several collaborations in the past, most recently the successful joint-venture on Kei cars in Japan. I welcome the direction being taken towards this broader cooperation, creating new opportunities for Renault in addition to further leveraging the productive relationship between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors."

Osamu Masuko, President of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation commented: "As a result of the development of collaborative projects with Nissan Motor up to now, Mitsubishi Motors is pleased to work again with Nissan and now Renault towards achieving further collaborations. The new opportunities could be described as evidence that the ongoing collaborative projects between Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan have brought positive results, and Mitsubishi Motors hopes that any new collaborative projects with the Renault-Nissan Alliance would bring us further merits."

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have an existing joint-venture company called NMKV which was established in June 2011 for the purpose of co-developing a range of Kei cars for both brands. The first of these products – the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK wagon – went on sale in Japan this year. Both products are manufactured at the Mitsubishi Mizushima plant in Japan.

About the Renault-Nissan Alliance

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is a strategic partnership between Renault (based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France) and Nissan (based in Yokohama, Japan), which together sell one in ten cars worldwide. Renault and Nissan have been strategic partners since 1999 and sold 8.1 million cars in nearly 200 countries in 2012. The Alliance operates strategic collaborations with numerous automakers, including Germany's Daimler, China's Dongfeng, and with regional manufacturers such as Ashok Leyland in India.