May 13, 2016

    Nissan to buy a third of Mitsubishi Motors in $3b deal


    NISSAN Motor threw a lifeline to Mitsubishi Motors yesterday by confirming plans to buy a 34 per cent stake in the scandal-hit automaker, with the deal valued at about US$2.2 billion (S$3 billion), according to a regulatory filing.

    The move will boost Nissan's clout in the small-car market.

    Nissan president Carlos Ghosn said in a joint press conference in Yokohama that the deal is a win-win for both.

    He added that Mitsubishi will overcome the current situation with Nissan's help.

    For his part, the head of Mitsubishi first apologised for the emission scandal and noted that the tie-up is helpful to restore customers' trust and stabilise its business

    Mitsubishi and Nissan, Japan's second-largest carmaker, already cooperate on development and manufacturing with a partnership dating back to 2011.

    Mitsubishi is weathering its third major scandal in under two decades after admitting that it overstated the fuel economy of at least four of its models - mini cars sold in Japan, including two marketed under Nissan's badge.

    The two sides early yesterday had said they were discussing "various matters, including capital cooperation".

    The deal will allow Nissan to gain a leg up in the domestic small-car market - where it is dwarfed by Suzuki and Toyota's Daihatsu - and in key emerging economies.

    Mitsubishi has lost market share in key segments and is struggling to compete in an industry where heavy investments in innovation are critical.