Nissan completes deal for stake in Mitsubishi

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Nissan has completed its acquisition of a 34% equity stake in Mitsubishi Motors for 237 billion yen (2.08bn euros), becoming its largest shareholder.

Announced in May, the move follows a request for assistance from Osamu Masuko, president and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi, in the wake of the company’s fuel economy crisis and builds on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies.

Mitsubishi now joins the Renault-Nissan alliance, rated now in the world’s top three automotive groups by global volumes, with sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016.

The carmaker will be headed up by Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of both Nissan and Renault, who becomes chairman elect.

Nissan said the move would lead to collaboration on joint purchasing, deeper localisation, joint plant utilisation, common vehicle platforms, technology-sharing and an expansion of the companies’ combined presence in both developed and emerging markets.

“The combination of Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault will create a new force in global car-making,” said Ghosn. “It will be one of the world’s three largest automotive groups, with the economies of scale, breakthrough technologies and manufacturing capabilities to produce vehicles to serve customer demand in every market segment and in every geographic market around the world.”

Osamu Masuko added: “I welcome Nissan’s willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder. As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximise potential future synergies through our deeper alliance.”

The three largest institutional shareholders in MMC – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ – welcomed Nissan’s investment. Together with Nissan, the shareholders will maintain more than 51% of the share capital.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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