Nissan is stepping in to help save scandal-ridden Mitsubishi Motors, after the automaker recently admitted it had cheated on Japanese emissions tests for decades.
In a deal announced Thursday, Nissan will take a controlling 34% stake in the automaker for just over $2 billion.
Mitsubishi will stay a separate brand, with its own network of dealers, and Nissan won’t be involved in day-to-day operations. However, Nissan plans to send engineers to Mitsubishi’s vehicle-development team to get to the bottom of the false fuel-economy data.
The deal is nothing short of a lifeline for Mitsubishi. This is the company’s third scandal in two decades, so it’s not operating on a great track record here. It must be noted Nissan discovered the falsified data issue in the first place because it involves several Mitsubishi-produced Nissan mini cars sold in Japan.
“This is a breakthrough transaction and a win-win for both Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors. It creates a dynamic new force in the automotive industry that will cooperate intensively, and generate sizeable synergies,” said Nissan Chief Carlos Ghosn. “We will be the largest shareholder of MMC, respecting their brand, their history and boosting their growth prospects. We will support MMC as they address their challenges and welcome them as the newest member of our enlarged Alliance family.”
The two Japanese companies have had a development and manufacturing partnership since 2011.