Report: Mitsubishi, Nissan Might Team Up for Midsize Sedan

Feb 06, 2015 06:30 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Mitsubishi is still struggling to get its midsize sedan project off the ground, but the automaker is reportedly in talks with Nissan as an alternative partner to help develop the vital car.

After plans with Renault fell through, alliance partner Nissan stepped in as a possibility. Mitsubishi may develop the midsize sedan on its own, but collaborating with other carmakers would help to mitigate costs.

Mitsubishi desperately needs to bolster its lineup in the American market, where the older Lancer compact sedan is aging and the midsize Galant has been discontinued.  

Plans for a Galant successor are on hold, but Mitsubishi is working to develop a follow-up for the Lancer, a Mitsubishi spokesman told Automotive News.

Appreciation of the Korean won against the American doll and Japanese yen reportedly stalled Mitsubishi's plan to build a midsize sedan at the Renault-Nissan Alliance assembly plant in South Korea and export it to the United States.

Although it hasn't been part of the midsize sedan segment since 2012, Mitsubishi is still technically offering a sedan in North America. Re-badged under the Dodge marquee, a model that is basically a revisitation of the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 sedan is available in Mexico as the 2015 Dodge Attitude. It competes with the Toyota Yaris and the Ford Fiesta. 

The Japanese automaker is doing well overall in the U.S. market, and American dealerships expecting a refreshed Outlander in July and a 2016 Lancer in the last quarter. Other upcoming products are a new Mirage subcompact scheduled to arrive sometime in spring 2016, followed by a Mirage sedan and plug-in hybrid Outlander in the second quarter of next year.

2014, which was a stellar year for auto sales across the industry, saw Mitsubishi sales jump 25 percent to 77,643 vehicles sold. The sales boost was mostly thanks to the popularity of the Outlander Sport and the Mirage.  

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