News that Peugeot/Citroen is discussing a stake in Mitsubishi, possibly as big as 50 per cent at a cost of around £1.5 billion, marks yet another stage in the wave of consolidation sweeping the car industry.

At several levels, I think this could work for both partners. In particular it could be the lifeline that Mitsubishi Motors needs to develop a more independent strategy outside the Okeiretsu of Mitsubishi companies that saved it from closure when Daimler-Chrysler's global ambitions collapsed in 2004.

PSA eyes Mitsubishi stake

Mitsubishi is still supported by the four group companies that together own around 34 per cent of Mitsubishi Motors.

In fact Mitsubushi Heavy, the engineering arm that owns 15 per cent, has just help fund a new range of 1.8 and 2.0-litre diesels that we'll first see in the RVR soft-roader next year and will then replace the VW unit in the Lancer and Outlander.