Mitsubishi compact SUV could well be spawning out of Duster’s platform for emerging markets but do you really want it to happen?
Following the fuel crisis, Mitsubishi was in turmoil until Nissan completed its acquisition of 34 percent equity stake in its fellow Japanese brand to become its largest shareholder in October 2016. MMC became an integral part of the global Alliance with Nissan and Renault and the purchase meant the group is among the top three automotive conglomerates by volume.
It is no secret that Nissan and Mitsubishi are having synergic alliance on joint purchasing, localisation and plant utilisation, and more importantly vehicle platform and sharing along with internal and other expansion with joint investments in developed and emerging markets across the globe. The prospect of economies of scale and manufacturing capabilities are key agendas over the last two years.
The two brands were not new in partnering as they had already been into kei cars for several years but the enlarged relationship made things even more interesting. It appears that the impact of the alliance will be felt in India in the near future as the Eclipse Cross, probably rivalling Jeep Compass, upcoming Tata 7-Seat premium MPV and Hyundai Tucson, will be launched in India in 2020.
Moreover, the Xpander MPV is also under consideration for India. If the alliance wants to make a big deal of Mitsubishi’s brand name in India they could devise a bold strategy to use the existing platform of Duster. The SUV made Renault a serious contender in the Indian market and it’s badge engineered cousin, Nissan Terrano, has also endured decent success since debuting in 2013.
The rendering showcased here has changes to the front fascia of the Duster to make it a Mitsubishi. We do like the sound of it as Mitsubishi is already an established name in India. However, since the segment is already crowded we may not have such a dramatic expansion of the Duster’s platform that already underpins Terrano, Captur and the upcoming Nissan Kicks.
The alliance could decide to keep Mitsubishi as a premium brand with the Eclipse Cross and Xpander. The latter is expected compete against Mahindra Marazzo and Toyota Innova Crysta if Mitsubishi decides to introduce the MPV in India. We will have our fingers crossed for the alliance to formulate an aggressive local strategy for Mitsubishi.