Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will source two Renault SA-made models for its European lineup as the Japanese automaker deviates from a decision to pull back from the region.
The cars, which will be based on existing Renault platforms and tweaked to fit the Mitsubishi brand, will be sold in some European markets excluding the U.K. from 2023, the carmakers said in a statement Wednesday. Mitsubishi’s European lineup also will feature the Eclipse Cross plug-in hybrid.
“Mitsubishi Motors has been implementing structural reforms in Europe and our decision to freeze new car development for the European market, announced in July 2020 in our mid-term business plans, remains,” Mitsubishi Chief Executive Officer Takao Kato said. “However, the OEM supply agreement will provide us with a solution to offer new products developed and manufactured in Europe — alongside our ongoing after-sales business.”
In a restructuring plan unveiled last year, Mitsubishi said it would freeze the launch of new products in Europe, cut fixed costs and focus on Southeast Asia, one of its strongest markets. The company has long struggled in Europe, where its market share has stagnated around 1% for more than a decade. The Japanese manufacturer sold a factory in the Netherlands in 2012.
Mitsubishi, Renault and Nissan Motor Co. are in a three-way alliance that has been pursuing plans for deeper cooperation in developing and building vehicles to weather a collapse in demand for its cars.
Last month, Nissan said it would make future small commercial vans at Renault’s Maubeuge plant in northern France. Mitsubishi is expected to procure Renault models made outside France.
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