Nissan's purchase of a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors for £1.5bn is now complete; Carlos Ghosn will take over as Mitsubishi and Nissan CEO

Nissan has purchased a 34% stake in Mitsubishi, at a cost of 237 billion yen (around £1.5 billion).

The move makes Nissan the largest shareholder in the ailing brand, with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn taking the helm as CEO of Nissan and Mitsubishi. The Renault-Nissan alliance now includes Mitsubishi, and combined, Nissan claims, the three will make up one of the three largest car producing groups on the planet. 

The Commission approved the move earlier this month, stating that "The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation by Nissan Motor, both of Japan."

"The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the overlaps between the companies' activities were limited and a number of strong players would remain active in the markets concerned after the merger."

In the wake of revelations that Mitsubishi has been falsifying fuel economy data for the past 25 years, the deal will make Nissan the firm's largest single shareholder. 

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn said: "We will support Mitsubishi Motors as they address their challenges and welcome them as the newest member of our enlarged alliance family.

"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."

Osamu Masuko, chief executive at Mitsubishi Motors, added: "It is not an easy task to regain trust, so through the alliance with Nissan, we will be starting a path towards tackling this difficult task."

The two companies have already collaborated on several models in the past, and will both sign the share agreement within two weeks. Both companies have been contacted for further comment.

Only Japanese cars affected in scandal

Prior to the deal being struck with Nissan, Mitsubishi admitted that it has falsified test data on up to 13 different models since 1991 - all of them sold in Japan only.

No cars sold in the UK or other regions are affected by the latest fuel economy scandal. The firm has issued a letter to Mitsubishi owners, assuring them that their car is not embroiled in the fuel economy scandal. 

Mitsubishi has revealed that the differences between the falsified figures and the legitimate ones are so small that the manufacturer plans to continue selling the affected cars. However, it has not specified in full which cars are affected.

Osamu Masuko, Mitsubishi’s chief executive officer, said the firm is still investigating the issues that led to the scandal. He added that it will submit more concrete details to Japan's transport ministry by 18 May. 

Masuko insisted that he wouldn’t stand down as a result of the crisis. “There are various ways to take a responsibility," he said, "and I believe getting the company on a stable path is one way to do it.”

Mitsubishi confirms US cars are legal

Mitsubishi had previously responded to requests from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by saying its US-spec cars conform to legislation governing fuel test procedures.

The EPA had requested the car maker retest its vehicles following the cheating revelations, but Mitsubishi said it has found no evidence of US-market vehicles being affected. This includes all Mitsubishi models sold in the US from 2013 to the present.

External investigation and widening crisis

After news of the fuel economy scandal broke, Mitsubishi share prices plummeted by 50%. Orders for Mitsubishi vehicles in its home Japanese market also halved in the following days.

An independent committee has already been assembled to further investigate the brand. It is made up of three external lawyers, headed by committee chair Keiichi Watanabe, a previous superintending prosecutor at Tokyo High Prosecutors Office. The two remaining committee members are Yoshiro Sakata and Genta Yoshino.

Last month Mitsubishi said the committee would review related documents and data and interview all people suspected of being involved. Once the investigation is complete, the committee will be responsible for drafting up measures to prevent a recurrence.

Previously, Japanese media had reported that alongside the 625,000 local cars already affected, other models involved could include the i-MiEV electric car, which is sold in the UK, but today's news quells these allegations. The car maker is also suspected of using non-Japanese testing processes on the iRVR, Pajero and Outlander models, although the issue is only related to cars sold in Japan.

How the Mitsubishi fuel economy scandal unfolded

News for the case first broke when Mitsubishi admitted to rigging fuel tests in the middle of April, when it said around 625,000 Mitsubishi-made cars could be affected, including vehicles produced for Nissan.

The models initially named were four superminis: the Mitsubishi eK Wagon and eK Space, and the Nissan Dayz and Dayz Roox.

All four models are 'kei' cars - models with small-capacity engines and compact dimensions, which are extremely popular in Asia. Of the 625,000 affected, 468,000 units are Nissan models, while 157,000 are Mitsubishis.

Mitsubishi said it had "conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates, and that the testing method was also different from the one required by Japanese law". It added: "We express deep apologies to all of our customers and stakeholders for this issue."

Nissan accused of emissions cheating in South Korea

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi ASX

The Mitsubishi ASX packs some clever tech, but does that make it desirable?

Join the debate

Comments
23

20 April 2016
Which is exactly how VW began it's own reluctant confession.

20 April 2016
Which is exactly how VW began its own reluctant confession.

20 April 2016
Issues in the motoring sector such as this are larger than the manufacturer involved, be it VAG or, in this instance, Mitsubishi. Governments worldwide should have implemented wholly independent testing rather than trust the omni-powerful motor manufacturers. This gross ineptitude has adversely affected the health of far too many people yet those responsible appear to have evaded punishment. What is required is immediate action to provide transparent, rigorous, fair and honest testing of vehicles instead of the further prevarication by manufacturers in league with obsequious authorities. Have we learned nothing from the deregulation of the financial sector?

20 April 2016
Impressive use of your thesaurus R Cranium

20 April 2016
It's a serious point that deserves better than a sarcastic response. Businesses often bleat about 'over-regulation' and 'excessive red tape', yet time and time again (and across all sorts of industries) show that they cannot be trusted to regulate themselves.

26 April 2016
Yes, yes, worldwide governments should also take responsibility for being so stupid in allowing manufacturers to carry out the tests themselves, I say stupid, maybe it wasnt stupidity maybe it was corruption ?

20 April 2016
It also follows their admissions a couple of years ago that they had been hiding costumer complaints and refusing to recall cars for problems ( including problems with fuel tanks and brakes ) that they were fully aware were real for well over 20 years.
They're going to have a very serious image problem in Japan. And the folks at Nissan have got to be furious.

 

 

12 May 2016
Nissan will not be furuious at all – the resulting share price drop of 50% has made their purchase a pretty good deal.

12 May 2016
Nissan will not be furious at all – the resulting share price drop of 50% has made their purchase a pretty good deal.

20 April 2016
Tip of the iceberg.
The other guilty people must be quaking now,as the public is aware of this generalised scam we have all be subject to.Funny thing though,all the BIG culprits,in NA at least ,the trucks,are exempt from these rules.Crazy! So a few little VW's are totally insignificant! Hypocrasy at its best!

Madmac

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again