Mitsubishi and Nissan will expand their current scope of cooperation, and the joint projects “will further strengthen mutual competitiveness”, both carmakers have agreed. The projects will range from JDM mini cars to Thai made pick-up trucks.

Nissan and Mitsubishi already have several OEM agreements for the domestic market, mainly for K-cars (MMC for Nissan) and commercial vehicles (Nissan for MMC), and this relationship will continue and grow. Nissan will provide a light van/wagon to Mitsubishi for the Japanese market, while Mitsubishi is to provide an SUV to Nissan for sale in the Middle East. There’s no mention which models these are. Both parties are also in talks for Nissan to provide Mitsubishi with “upper-end segment models” for the domestic market.

As for the new developments, a 50:50 joint venture company will be set up for product planning and engineering of mini cars for the Japanese market, reads the official statement, although Bloomberg reports that the fruits of this JV will be sold worldwide. The current arrangement is mainly of Nissan selling rebadged Mitsubishi K-cars.

The other big news is more relevant to us in ASEAN. Both parties are looking at moving production of the current generation Nissan Navara to Mitsubishi Motors’ plant in Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chonburi Thailand, which churns out the Triton. This move will of course benefit both parties in terms of cost.

In the longer term, the two companies are looking at manufacturing and engineering collaboration of a new generation one-tonne pickup truck. If this takes off, the next generation Triton and Navara could be non-identical twins underpinned by the same platform and rolling out from the same factory, like how Ford and Mazda do it in Thailand. The Mother Trucker’s drivetrain paired with the Triton’s style and cabin doesn’t sound too bad, does it?