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Mitsubishi Gaining Sales Momentum in US

New products helping to keep dealers excited.

by on Dec.07, 2017

The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is helping to draw new buyers to the Japanese brand.

Mitsubishi joined the Renault-Nissan alliance a little more than a year ago and the change has given the automaker an enormous lift, according to executives from Mitsubishi Motors North America.

The shift has boosted the spirits of dealers, given the company more clout while buying ads and within three years Mitsubishi expects new products, developed by the alliance, will start showing up in Mitsubishi showrooms around the country, said Don Swearingen, MMNA executive vice president and chief operating officer.

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The first product from the alliance will roll out in 2020 as 2021 model, Swearingen said. At the same, time the company will be sharing its plug-in hybrid technology with Nissan. In turn, Renault-Nissan will provide Mitsubishi with battery electric vehicles, he said.  (more…)

Toyota Earnings Soar as Yen Sinks

Japanese giant raises full-year forecast despite weaker U.S. demand.

by on Nov.07, 2017

Sales of the RAV4, including the new hybrid shown here, have picked up while sedan demand tumbles.

A weak Japanese yen translated into strong earnings for Toyota Motor Corp. during the July-September quarter and has the automaker forecasting improved earnings for the current fiscal year despite sliding sales in North America, its key market.

For the second quarter in Toyota’s fiscal year, earnings rose to 481.21 billion yen, or $4.2 billion, compared with 410.77 billion yen a year earlier. Toyota is now forecasting it will earn 1.95 trillion yen during the fiscal year ending next March 31, or $17 billion at the current exchange rate. It delivered earnings of 1.75 trillion yen, or $15 billion last year.

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Separately, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. delivered an unexpectedly solid profit, reversing the losses its suffered in the wake of revelations that it had cheated on vehicle mileage tests. The resulting scandal led to the small Japanese maker’s takeover by Nissan Motor Co. last year.

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Japan’s Auto Safety Scandal Spreads to Subaru

Automaker admits 30-year lapse; will recall over 250,000 vehicles.

by on Oct.27, 2017

Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga bowed to reporters to acknowledge his company's safety lapses.

Subaru acknowledged Friday it improperly inspected products sold on the Japanese market for over 30 years and will recall as many as 255,000 vehicles.

The company is the latest Japanese automaker to reveal faulty inspection practices, Nissan earlier this month reporting similar lapses. The announcement by Subaru comes at a time when the once-lofty image of Japanese industry has been severely tarnished by a raft of scandals that include rigging of fel economy numbers by Mitsubishi, the production of faulty airbags by supplier Takata, and the falsification of data by metals manufacturer Kobe Steel.

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“The final inspection process is very important and we acknowledge that we did not meet requirements,” Subaru Chief Executive Officer Yasuyuki Yoshinaga at a news conference on Friday in Tokyo. “We used the same process for more than 30 years without realizing that it did not meet ministry requirements.”

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Mitsubishi’s Revolution Begins with E-Evolution

New electrified SUV features new exterior design language.

by on Oct.25, 2017

Mitsubishi's e-Evolution Concept marries the brand's off-road heritage with a focus on new styling and advanced technology.

Mitsubishi is looking to reinvigorate its image and the new e-Evolution Concept may just be the jolt of energy the company needs in the wake of its recent controversies.

The electrified high-performance sport-utility vehicle, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, embodies the company’s new mantra, “Drive your Ambition.”

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The company claims the prototype illustrates its new strategic direction by incorporating the strengths of the SUV and EV with the ability to integrate new systems for a connected mobility customer experience. (more…)

Mitsubishi Ready to Implement Three-Year Comeback Plan

Japanese maker looks to grow portfolio.

by on Oct.18, 2017

Mitsubishi is going to need more vehicles like Eclipse Cross concept to become reality in order to meet its three-year goals.

The resurrection of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. begins with a plan that calls for a 30% increase in sales during the next three years, coming in three major markets: China, the U.S. and Japan, its home market.

The recovery in Japan may be most difficult since the company was rocked by a mileage cheating scandal that ultimately led to the takeover by Nissan Motor Co. The new plan is the result of that new partnership.

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Getting to those markers will be tough, but an improved product portfolio will help and the company’s put in place some ambitious investment plans for its research and development as well as capital spending. (more…)

Renault-Nissan’s Ghosn Raises Caution Flag for U.S. Auto Market

Exec expects NAFTA to survive, despite threats from Trump.

by on Sep.28, 2017

Carlos Ghosn relinquished his title as Nissan CEO this year to focus more on Mitsubishi.

After months of decline, September could bring some good news for U.S. automakers, with a modest upturn in new vehicle sales. But don’t expect that upturn to last long, warns Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The Brazilian-born executive said that sales in the U.S. market are likely to remain “stable,” meaning no growth. On the other hand, he told CNBC he doesn’t expect the serious downturn that some observers have begun to worry about after months of weak sales.

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Asked if there’s an opportunity for the American market to grow, following three record years of sales, Ghosn said, “I’m not planning on that,” adding that, “For the next six years we’re seeing a stable U.S. market (but) we don’t see growth in the U.S.”

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Ghosn Rules Out Full Nissan-Mitsubishi Merger

Mitsu needs to “reform itself.”

by on Apr.28, 2017

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is expected to translate into a new production crossover.

While Nissan has taken a controlling stake in long-troubled Mitsubishi and replaced most of the smaller maker’s key managers, don’t expect to see a full merger of the two companies.

Instead, expect to see the two companies expand their ties – which is likely to mean more platform sharing, as well as the joint development and use of electrified powertrain technology.

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“Full merger is not on the table. We want Mitsubishi to reform itself,” said Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan Chairman who recently took on that same post at the smaller company.

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Major Management Changes Coming at Nissan

Nakamura retires, Albaisa gets promoted, BMW’s Habib to take on Infiniti styling.

by on Mar.14, 2017

Nissan's Shiro Nakamura helped build the maker's reputation for strong designs.

More big managements changes are in the works at Nissan Motors Corp., barely three weeks after Carlos Ghosn relinquished his title as CEO of the Japanese automaker.

The latest wave impacts Nissan at a variety of senior levels, both at its headquarters in Japan and in the critical U.S. market. That starts with the announcement that Shiro Nakamura, the well-respected Nissan Chief Creative Officer, will be retiring. He will be replaced be Alfonso Albaisa, who had been overseeing design at the maker’s Infiniti division. In turn, Albaisa will be replaced by former BMW Design director Karim Habib.

Designing News!

Still other major management shifts come as Nissan moves to cement its control over Mitsubishi, the long-troubled Japanese automaker that was rescued by a Nissan bailout late last year. Four more Nissan executives will move over to the smaller maker starting in April.

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Mitsubishi Remaining Separate from Nissan

Swearingen confirms plans to keep companies apart.

by on Jan.06, 2017

Mitsubishi and Nissan will remain separate entities, said MMNA Chief Don Swearingen.

With a new corporate structure at the top of the company, Mitsubishi plans to use design to set it apart from Nissan its new corporate partner and parent.

Nissan closed the deal to acquire a controlling 30% stake in Mitsubishi last fall and last month, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn took over as Mitsubishi chairman.

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However, while the Nissan and Mitsubishi will share some functions such as purchasing or logistics, the two companies will essentially remain competitors in key markets such as the United States or Japan, said Don Swearingen, Mitsubishi Motors North America executive vice president and chief operating officer. (more…)

Ghosn to Add New Duties as Chairman of Mitsubishi

“It is going to be difficult.”

by on Oct.20, 2016

Saving Mitsubishi "will require tough decisions," said new Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Already serving as the CEO of both French automaker Renault, as well as its Japanese alliance partner Nissan, Carlos Ghosn will now become chairman of embattled automaker Mitsubishi.

It will put the Brazilian-born executive in a familiar role. He became chief operating officer at Nissan in 1999, following a $6 billion investment by Renault, and helped turned the then-struggling Japanese company around. Following a series of scandals, Mitsubishi now needs similar help.

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And it could also help boost give a big boost to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, adding just enough volume for the Franco-Japanese partnership to brush aside rival Toyota to become the world’s best-selling auto company.

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