New Nissan Boss Wants Mitsubishi To Become A Key Player In U.S.

Nissan’s new chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, has bold plans for the company in post-Carlos Ghosn times.

Saikawa took office on April 1 and among his most immediate priorities are to expand the presence of Mitsubishi – Nissan’s global partner – in the United States while also re-focusing Nissan’s electric vehicle efforts.

During an interview with Automotive News, the new chief executive revealed his hope that Mitsubishi’s global sales can double and that it can make significant inroads in the U.S. and ultimately rival the sales of Subaru.

“They are now a 1 million [unit] company. Easily they can grow to 1.5 million, hopefully 2 million. Having a partner [that is] a 2 million company is much better than having [one that is] a 1 million company.

“My first wish is that they should start growing, rapidly, and they should regain ground in the U.S. as soon as possible,” he said.

Saikawa ruled out the possibility of Nissan selling Mitsubishi-badged vehicles in America but did reveal that as Renault isn’t a player in the U.S., there’s an opportunity for it to supply cars to Mitsubishi.

Alongside his plans for Mitsubishi, Saikawa also said that the Japanese marque is pushing forward with its electric vehicle plans and will reveal an overhauled Leaf next year. Before 2020 comes around, Nissan will unveil an all-new electric vehicle with a range of around 300 miles (482 km).

PHOTO GALLERY

  • drano66

    I wonder how much this new ding dong is payed to come with such ludicrous ideas?!

    Seriously, Mitsubishi need to build fresh cars not rebranded French POS cars!

    If it’s the best they can come with, they need to get out America ASAP and follow Suzuki.

    • WTF

      French POS cars, welcome to Merica where redneck logic rules the net, just because theyre French theyre POS?? what an ignorant troll you are. That small bit of information, in no way implied thats all they were going to do if at all they stated it was a possibility as many companies rebadge and platform engineer cars I fail to see the issue but even more important how ignorant you can be to jump to conclusions or for that matter even assume you have the clout as an internet troll to know more than a CEO Ghosn transformed Nissan to having cars that didnt sell to being in the top 5 sellers in more than one category not to mention a car on the top 10 in general best selling list and you think a company that did all of that (renault) wouldnt also have the know how to improve Mitsubishi??? What an idiot point blank period.

      • WTF

        All these trolls talk about getting the Alpine, and other Renault products ive seen it more than once and when crappy Mitsubishi which has been dead for years may be getting new product its a problem….if Mitsubishi were to have disappeared years ago nobody would have cared….especially those EVO fans that mainly buy them used anyway which is why they dont sell them…..

  • Benjamin B.

    So we will get rebadged Renaults similar to what Chrysler did??

  • Blanka Li

    #1: Drop the 3-diamond logo and come up with something else. Constantly reminding people of Mistu conscripting American and allied POW’s (and Chinese citizens) to work – and sometimes die- in Mitsu diamond mines is a mistake. Oh, and did I mention the opiate trade Mitsu ran? The past is the past, but their logo keeps the past alive.

    #2: Create truly unique products. Nothing about Mitsu’s lineup stands out at all. The demise of the Evo saw to that. Be the best at something – anything – and let that spread through out the line-up.

    (gets off soap box, returns to the dark corner of the room)

    • What about the German car brands, they where even worst during world war 2

  • ediotsavant

    Hiroto needs to promote the EVO name. Each model in Mitsubishi lineup should have a performance variant.

  • Tumbi Mtika
  • MP4-12C

    Well, they have a long way to achieve that.

    Worst case scenario for them would be to sell rebadged Nissans. Rebadged Renaults is a crazy plan, but still better than their current old and uninspiring line-up.

    • Kyle Newberry

      It’d be cool to see a Clio Sport in the US.

  • Felipe Politano

    That seems like the obvious choice since the very beginning of their agreement, to rebadge the new (excellent) crop of Renault cars and crossovers. I mean, have you guys checked the latest Renault Megane sedan and Talisman? They’re both GORGEOUS, premium-ish cars that would make great Mitsus, Lancer and Galant respectively. The Captur would also make a great sub-Outlander Sport CUV to go against the Soul, HR-V, Tracker and Renegade… it’s a win win for them.

  • Spinnetti

    Product, Product, Product. Lets not forget that.

  • fabri99

    Is it really so hard to play on the whole rally-nostalgic-90s thing? Rallyart and EVO are needed ASAP.

  • Dennis Scipio

    Hell, i would’t mind if they did try to bring in rebadged Renault vehicles to keep their line up fresh.

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