The Mitsubishi Xpander will be supplied to Nissan from 2019, when the seven-seater budget MPV will also be sold with the latter’s badge, Nikkei reports. Mitsubishi Motors joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance in October 2016 after Nissan bought a 34% stake in MMC.

The Xpander made its debut in Indonesia in August 2017. Based on the XM Concept from 2016, the Xpander competes in Indonesia’s core “Low MPV” segment with stalwarts such as the Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia, Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio. Mitsubishi brought something unique to the three-row MPV party by giving the Xpander SUV-like design and a bold face.

Powered by a class norm 1.5 litre engine, the Xpander has been a success for MMC in Indonesia, where it plans to double its sales to 137,000 units in fiscal year 2018 from FY 2016 figures. Nikkei points out that around 70% of Xpander buyers are owners of other marques, which means that Mitsubishi has successfully reached out to new customers with its new product.

Nissan could do with a new budget MPV in ASEAN, as the current Grand Livina has roots that date back to over a decade. It would be interesting to see the Xpander with Nissan’s “V-Motion” look instead of the original “Dynamic Shield” face. Last year, MMC CEO Osamu Masuko said that the Xpander will be exported to ASEAN markets including Malaysia from 2018.

The report adds that in an effort to find more synergies, there’s also a plan for Mitsubishi and Nissan to use shared underpinnings for pick-up trucks in 2021.

One-tonne trucks are big in Thailand, and MMC has a global production base there for its Triton/L200. Masuko was recently in the Land of Smiles to celebrate the Laem Chabang plant’s five millionth car landmark. Of that, 3.7 million units were exported to 120 countries, making MMC the second largest auto exporter in Thailand after Toyota.

The carmaker operates three production sites and one engine factory in Laem Chabang. MMC’s first overseas R&D proving ground outside Japan is also loacted in the same province.

As the stronger brand in pick-up trucks, MMC would be taking the lead in next-generation pick-up truck development, although the next Navara will have its own unique design. Overall, Mitsubishi will play a major role in our region, which is its biggest overseas market for sales and profits.

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander Sport A/T