Nissan and Mitsubishi officially name their minicar joint venture
Nissan and Mitsubishi have officially named their joint venture as NMKV Co., Ltd, a company formed to develop minicars exclusively for the Japanese market. The company began operations on June 1st, with 35 employees. NMKV Co., Ltd headquarters are in Takanawa, Minato Ward, Tokyo. This solidifies the business deal both companies signed in December of last year.
Mitsubishi will probably benefit more than Nissan from the joint venture, as it is struggling in its domestic market as it is in the United States. The business plan states that Nissan will supply Mitsubishi with minicars to re-market as their own, putting them in a better position to compete in Japan's most competitive auto market. Minicars and eco-friendly cars account for over a third of Japan's new car sales as fuel prices continue to hover at record highs.
Nissan's portion of the press release says the joint venture "will enable Nissan to continue development of products that reflect Nissan's DNA at the design and product planning phases." This means that Nissan will put some of its R&D burden on NMKV Co., Ltd so it can focus on brand and image development. Nissan likely wants to move upmarket by the sounds of things (i.e. make cars like the GT-R more exotic).
Dates and details about Mitsubishi's first car to be built under the new joint venture, or any changes to Nissan's current lineup as a result of it, remain unavailable.