Mitsubishi could share family hatchback and supermini platforms with Peugeot and Citroën, if talks for PSA to take up to a 50 per cent stake in the Japanese firm come to fruition.
Loss-making Mitsubishi needs a new partner to share the development of the next-generation Lancer family, due for replacement around 2013/14. “We’re talking long-term strategic and profitability goals rather than short term, like filling gaps in our current range,” a Mitsubishi source told Autocar.
Today’s Lancer was jointly developed with Chrysler, but Fiat’s takeover of the US company has stopped any thoughts of that arrangement continuing in future.
How responsibility for the fundamental engineering would be shared is unclear. The current Lancer family, which includes the Outlander and the new RVR soft-roader, was engineered in Japan.
While Chrysler was happy to hand over responsibility to Japan for this work, it’s unlikely that PSA will consider that policy acceptable for big-selling bread-and-butter cars such as the replacements for the 308 and C4.
Mitsubishi will also need a partner to defray costs when it comes to replace the Colt supermini. This is a less pressing target, because the company is well into the development cycle of the new Colt, due on sale around 2011/12 with a life cycle of around six years.
The new Colt will also be a global B-segment model.