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June 1, 2021

Nissan, Mitsubishi JV Marks 10th Year

Today marks the tenth year since Nissan and Mitsubishi decided to enter into a joint-venture officially called NMKV Co., Ltd.

At the time, it was seen as a 50-50 joint-venture focused on kei cars for the Japanese market. NMKV was supposed to, in Mitsubishi’s words, “combine the strengths of Nissan and Mitsubishi in fields such as product planning and development, design, and purchasing to consistently deliver competitive products to consumers.”

The JV resulted in the mechanical twins—the Nissan Dayz and the Mitsubishi eK.

It also unexpectedly became the springboard by which Nissan ended up owning 34 percent of Mitsubishi. This was after Mitsubishi got caught up in a fuel economy scandal involving the JV’s kei cars in 2016.

That certainly changed the corporate course for Mitsubishi, and it remains to be seen whether Nissan’s controlling stake has done well for the company or not. Regardless, the JV can be considered as highly successful.

Cumulatively, NMKV has sold over 1.52 million kei cars so far. And in poetic redemption, the latest versions of the Nissan ROOX and Mitsubishi eK space were awarded the Kei Car of the Year at the 2020-2021 Car of the Year Japan awards.

With the fuel scandal well past them, the NMKV joint-venture is now working on the production of next-generation kei cars powered by electricity and containing driver assist technology.

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