Nissan Props Up Mitsubishi With $2.2B Lifeline After Fuel Scandal

Image courtesy of Russ Swiss

After tipping Mitsubishi off to the fact that its vehicles included falsified fuel economy data, Nissan has once again reached out to help its fellow carmaker by extending a $2.2 billion lifeline to the company. 

The New York Times reports that the two automakers reached a deal on Thursday that gives Nissan a one-third stake in Mitsubishi.

“This is an important step toward rebuilding trust and stabilizing our business,” Mitsubishi’s chairman, Osamu Masuko, said of Nissan’s investment.

By extending the lifeline to Mitsubishi, Nissan becomes the largest shareholder in the car company with a 34% stake.

“We will support [Mitsubishi] as they address their challenges and welcome them as the newest member of our enlarged Alliance family,” Nissan Chief Carlos Ghosn said during a joint conference Thursday, adding, “We have been there not a very long time ago. We have the track record to make it work.”

The two companies say they had been working on a deal for some time, but the cheating scandal had accelerated the process, the NYT reports.

Under the deal, Mitsubishi will become part of the Nissan-Renault Alliance created in 1999 when Renault invested in Nissan, which at the time was facing its own financial struggles.

The Alliance is structured in a way that each company owns a part of the other, allowing the automakers to reduce costs by combining development efforts but avoiding a full-fledged merger.

While the deal exposes Nissan to issues related to Mitsubishi’s fuel economy scandal, Ghosn said he is confident his company understands the problems facing its new partner.

The two companies already work together in several areas. For one, Mitsubishi produces several vehicles for Nissan, including those that are affected by the falsified fuel data.

Nissan Throws a Lifeline to Scandal-Stricken Mitsubishi [The New York Times]

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