Mitsubishi Gets $5.3 Billion Budget for New R&D


Now that the dust has settled on Renault Nissan’s acquisition of Mitsubishi, our favorite electric hill climb people are- finally!- able to start making plans for their future. Big plans, too, it seems- because Mitsubishi will be spending more than 5 billion USD to develop new product lines over the next three years!

Despite a dramatically shrinking market share and factory closings in the US, we’re big fans of the little company that could here at Gas 2. The Mirage is more fun than it should be, and Mitsubishi’s PHEV Outlander has gotten a ton of virtual ink on these “pages”. It’s also won awards, even- and sold well beyond expectations. With this fresh injection of cash, Mitsubishi might be able to make good on its promise of bringing the PHEV Outlander to North America soon eventually.

The expansion of Mitsubishi’s PHEV offerings is just one aspect of the new merger. As we reported when news first broke, the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance’s objectives include the doubling of annual synergies to more than 10 billion Euros, with more than nine million vehicles to sharing four common platforms. Mitsubishi will be able to benefit from those economies of scale and, it’s hoped, launch the kind of vehicular renaissance that’s going to be needed to bring it back from the brink.

They’ll have $5 billion to try, anyway.

What do you guys think? Is this kind of investment a smart move for Renault Nissan, or is this money down the drain for a dying brand? Let us know how you think it will go in the comments section, below. See? Rhyming’s not hard.


Source | Images: Renault Nissan, via Paul Tan.

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Ed

    It is probably one brand too many as we approach the tipping point for internal combustion engines. I don’t know that Mitsubishi’s very small distribution channel is all that useful to Renault-Nissan; it is certainly not vital. Maybe N-R could cherry pick their product line, swap out dealer agreements to N-R, close some plants and gain better plant utilization in the process(?)

    • You’re probably forgetting Mitsubishi’s massive presence in the medium duty truck market, its position as a leading manufacturer of turbochargers and automotive computers (which will keep it relevant for years as a supplier, even in a post ICE world), and its industrial and marine engine business (again- one of the biggest in the business). An alliance with Mitsubishi is a vertical merger in the same way that Ford glass makes Ford cars cheaper and easier to build.

    • Also: close to the tipping point? Sorry, but that’s just not right. From the Global EV Outlook 2017, “Declining year-on-year increments are consistent with a growing electric car market and stock size, but the scale achieved so far is still small: the global electric car stock currently corresponds to just 0.2% of the total number of passenger light-duty vehicles (PLDVs)4 in circulation.”

      0.2% is hardly a tipping point. Get out of the green car bubble, and you’ll see that there is a whole lot of life left in the ICE, whether we like it or not.

      • Ed

        Your data is correct, but are in 2017, if where look at where the car companies SAY they are going to focus their energies and budgets, then we are clearly at a tipping point. Will it happen? Pretty sure it will, because Tesla’s succession showing that an electric car can meet the needs of more than 95% of buyers has emboldened cities, state and whole nations to propose regulations to ban ICE vehicles in the not-too-distant future.

        • Tesla is also showing that implementing its mass-production plans may be more difficult than first projected. We’ll see- I’m in the “nah” camp.

      • trackdaze

        Big organisations thrive on incremental growth. Electric vehicles are now at a point of entirely absorbing this growth. Cue a downward spiral in sales and investments.

        Example? With overall sales down in the US and plug ins at 40% up in 2017. 2016 could well have seen peak internal combustion sales in the US. With Nissan,tesla, Mitsubishi Outlander and many many others sales are set to supercharge plug in market next year making any rebound in total sales well contained within the electric vehicle market.

        Hybrids are up 11% too in a down market.

  • Knut Erik Ballestad

    Renault-Nissan is expanding the volume of cars/models/brands that will utilise their common platforms. Therefore they are reducing the cost per vehicle for *all* brands/models.

    This may be key step in the survival of all three companies.

  • trackdaze

    Mitsubishi ought to spend the bulk of that money on its phev and battery tech. Stronger electric motors wouldn’t go astray
    Perhaps a 1billion on adopting the Nissan Leaf platform to car lineup.

    There is the Bosch,yuasa,Mitsubishi joint venture to double the power and half the weight and costs of batteries by 2020 too.