Carmagazine.com photo by E. Brown
After investing $2.2 billion to take a 34 percent ownership, Nissan is now Mitsubishi Motor's top stake-holder and in control of the Japanese carmaker's future.
Nissan Chief Carlos Ghosn appeared with Mitsubishi Motors Chairman Osamu Masuko at a hastily called joint news conference last week in Yokohama, Japan, to make the announcement.
Under the deal, Nissan becomes the top investor in Mitsubishi Motors. Mitsubishi group companies — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, trading company Mitsubishi Corp. and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ — will continue to hold stakes in the automaker, but they have agreed to support the alliance with Nissan, both sides said.
Mitsubishi Motors has been rattled recently by a scandal over cheating to inflate mileage for minicar models. Reporters peppered Ghosn with questions about whether he was worried the scandal may grow.
"This is a breakthrough transaction and a win-win for both Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors. It creates a dynamic new force in the automotive industry that will cooperate intensively and generate sizeable synergies," said Ghosn, the Brazilian-born Frenchman who engineered Nissan's alliance with Renault, which began in 1999.