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March 14, 2003

JAPAN: Mitsubishi to supply Nissan with mini-commercial vehicle

Nissan and Mitsubishi have announced a basic agreement through which Mitsubishi Motors will supply its "Minicab" mini-commercial vehicle to Nissan on an ‘OEM’ basis. The model will come in two body types, a truck and a van.

By bcusack

Nissan and Mitsubishi have announced a basic agreement through which Mitsubishi Motors will supply its “Minicab” mini-commercial vehicle to Nissan on an ‘OEM’ basis. The model will come in two body types, a truck and a van.

Nissan will source about 20,000 vehicles per year from Mitsubishi Motors, starting in the third quarter of FY2003. Through this arrangement, Nissan will be able to expand its product lineup and broaden its customer base in the mini-vehicle market. Mitsubishi Motors will be able to enhance its manufacturing efficiency by increasing its production volume of mini-vehicles, bolstering the foundation for its mini-vehicle business operations.

This move marks Nissan’s second entry into the mini vehicle market in Japan and its first in the mini-commercial market. The mini-commercial vehicle segment currently represents about 30% of the overall mini-vehicle sales in Japan. With its entry into the minicar market last April with the launch of the Moco [supplied by Suzuki], Nissan will have one model each to offer for passenger and commercial use in the mini-vehicle market. By expanding its product lineup across all profitable market segments, Nissan expects to attract new customers, to expand its customer base and to offer a wider range of choices.

Mitsubishi Motors will be able to reduce development and manufacturing costs and to enhance productivity by achieving increased economies of scale for mini-vehicles. In addition, the expansion of its mini-commercial vehicle operations will enable the company to further strengthen the foundation for its overall mini-vehicle business. Mini-vehicles represent an important segment for Mitsubishi Motor’s product lineup, which includes the key eK Wagon and other minicar models.

Both companies expect Nissan’s entry in the mini-commercial vehicle market to satisfy customers’ needs and create expanded business opportunities for mini-vehicles.

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