During a 2010 press conference, Nissan and Mistubishi announced a cooperation between the two companies, and that they would be seeking new opportunities to work together. At the time, the plans were limited to overseas markets, and included a Nissan Van, a Mitsubishi SUV and the sharing of EV charging networks. Their joint venture is called NMKV and their 35 employees are tasked with developing minicars for the Japanese market. They are hoping to unite the strengths of the two companies when it comes to parts sourcing, and vehicle engineering & development. Mitsubishi will definitely benefit from the additional buying power it stands to inherit.
Later that year, the two companies said that they would be working together in the kei market in Japan. Kei comes from the Japanese term "ee kei", which means "good minicar" in English. Nissan will brand it the Nissan Dayz, and for Mitsubishi, the vehicle will be the new generation of their eK Wagon. Previously, Nissan would buy it's Kei cars from Suzuki and Mitsubishi.
Thanks to the joint venture, the two companies will each have a voice in the design of the two minicar brands, although they have said that the vehicles will retain Nissan's DNA. The first model, hitting showrooms in June 2013 is a small classic 5-door sedan. While each company will personalize it slightly, with differing front end looks, it is the same car. Each of the two companies will offer two variants- the Mitsubishi eK Wagon and Mitsubishi eK Custom and the the Nissan Dayz and the Dayz Highway Star.
Already 1/3 of Japan's auto sales, purchases of small cars in that country are expected to climb as Japan implements new regulations that favour them.
In early 2014, a second model will be introduced, a tall wagon that will compete with the Honda-N-One. There is also speculation that the two companies are working together to develop a battery powered city car.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca