Nissan Committing To 30 Percent Stake in Embattled Mitsubishi Motors

Nissan Motor is in talks with Mitsubishi Motors to settle a 30-percent stake in the automaker now under investigation for a widening mpg cheating scandal.

According to an exclusive report in the Nikkei Asian Review, Nissan will meet Thursday with the Mitsubishi board to settle a proposed $1.84 billion (200 billion yen) commitment to help shore up the troubled Mitsubishi.

If the deal is finalized, it will make Nissan the leading stakeholder above Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which holds 20-percent share.

Mitsubishi Motors is likely to issue new shares to Nissan through a private placement, says the report.

The two automakers already are linked, with a 50-50 minicar joint venture. It is these “kei” cars that sparked a scandal that revealed 25 years of misreporting by Mitsubishi for these Japan-market cars.

Mitsubishi has escaped prior scandals, suffers limited consumer confidence, but is reportedly financially sound.

The Nikkei Asian Review reports as of March Mitsubishi Motors has an equity ratio of 48 percent with 450 billion yen in cash and equivalents.

The company, whose president said it is now battling for its survival, is worth saving in part due to overseas brand recognition, including in Thailand and Indonesia. The Asia market generates more than 50 percent of Mitsubishi Motors’ group operating profit.

In the U.S., on the immediate horizon plug-in advocates are hoping its long-delayed Outlander PHEV will arrive this fall as previously announced.

Mitsubishi has announced broad global electrified vehicle plans as part of work to strengthen the company already ailing in the marketplace.

Today it was reported Mitsubishi admitted to more falsified vehicles reporting than originally disclosed, and while not out of the woods yet, may be bailed out by that other electrified vehicle advocate, Nissan.

Nikkei Asian Review