Mitsubishi Motors plans to relocate its North America headquarters from California to Tennessee, a move that will bring it closer to its majority shareholder Nissan Motor.

The Japanese automaker said it would spend US$18m on a new headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, and create 200 new jobs in the state. 

Nissan acquired a 34% stake in the company in 2016 and has a manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, making potential synergies between the two companies in North America easier to manage. 

Mitsubishi sold a little around 118,074 vehicles in the US in 2018, up by almost 14% on the previous year and mainly comprising the Outlander SUV and the Mirage small car.

Nissan sold 1.34m units, down 6.6% on the previous year.

Mitsubishi said it expects the relocation to begin in August and to be completed by the end of the year.

Nissan relocated from California to Tennessee some years ago and, more recently, Toyota also moved east, building a new campus in Plano, near Dallas and Fort Worth, in Texas.