There’s no way a carmaker can go it alone in China, and local partners are a necessary inconvenience. The latest marriage is between Mitsubishi Motors and Guangzhou Automobile Group, which last week unveiled their joint venture in Changsha, located in central China’s Hunan province.
Guangzhou Auto, MMC and its parent company Mitsubishi Corp will hold 50%, 33% and 17% interest respectively in the JV known as GAC Mitsubishi Motors Co. The company will make Mitsubishi-badged cars, starting with the ASX compact crossover later this month. Next up is the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
GAC Mitsubishi was formed from the assets of Hunan Changfeng Motor Co, a Changsha-based SUV maker in which Mitsubishi held a 15% stake. Guangzhou Auto acquired Changfeng in 2009.
This isn’t the only marriage for both parties – MMC is already in bed with Southeast (Fujian) Motor Co, while Guangzhou Auto has JVs with Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Fiat. It’s a big swingers party over there.