DaimlerChrysler‘s US operation is examining the possibility of additional alliances with Mitsubishi Motors, the Japanese company partly owned by DaimlerChrysler, the Chrysler division boss told Associated Press (AP).
The report noted that US-based Chrysler Group already cooperates with Mitsubishi’s North American arm on a pickup that Mitsubishi plans for North America next year and the two have also teamed up on engine development and other projects.
AP said Mitsubishi’s pickup will be mid-sized and share technology with the Dodge Dakota, though the two firms have said each model will have a distinct design.
Without being specific, Chrysler division chief executive Dieter Zetsche reportedly said the two companies were exploring other co-operative efforts, though neither would want to do anything to dilute the brands.
“I do believe there are more opportunities we haven’t leveraged, and we’ll try to find those,” Zetsche told Associated Press in an interview at the Geneva motor Show, adding: “If there’s a chance, we’ll go for it.”
Asked about Mitsubishi’s financial troubles and their effect on the relationship, Zetsche reportedly said, “In the past as in the future, we should only do things which … generate value” for both sides.
AP noted that Chrysler’s German-American parent owns 37% of Mitsubishi, which last month revised its outlook for the fiscal year ending March 31 to a loss of more than $US600 million – far worse than anticipated.
Late in February DaimlerChrysler said it was sending a team to Tokyo to help devise a rescue plan for Mitsubishi and the team is expected to announce a business plan on April 30, the report said, adding that industry observers have speculated that Mitsubishi Motors chief executive Rolf Eckrodt may step down to take responsibility for recent problems mainly stemming from losses related to car buyers with bad credit in North America.