Nissan Takes Control of Mitsubishi in $2 Billion Deal

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn becomes chairman of the smaller carmaker.  

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Nissan has finalized the buyout of a majority stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corps Thursday for $2.3 billion following a fuel-economy scandal that caused the latter company to spiral toward demise, The Wall Street Journal reports. Following the merger, CEO Carlos Ghosn claimed the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi partnership is the third biggest auto group in the world, behind Toyota and Volkswagen.

The deal, which was first announced in May, was finalized on Thursday following official approval and gives Nissan a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi.

“The alliance will have a scale advantage over most car makers and a handicap to none,” Ghosn said, via WSJ. Following the buyout, Ghosn, who already leads Renault and Nissan as chief executive, is joining Mitsubishi's ranks as chairman of the company. “We are going to show that Mitsubishi Motors has more potential than has been shown so far,” Ghosn said.

Nissan plans on using this partnership to make the most out of both of the automakers' knowledge and abilities. As WSJ notes, Nissan's self-driving tech and Mitsubishi's hybrid system are both items that the companies operate strongly with and can help each other with developing further. Nissan also plans on using Mitsubishi's truck-building experience for its own benefit in building a stronger presence in the utility vehicle segment in America.

Following the news that Mitsubishi has been massaging fuel economy data, the company is expected to lose more than $2 billion by March 2017.

In addition to Ghosn joining the Mitsubishi board, four other executives from Nissan will also be tagging along. One of those is Nissan's head of performance, Trevor Mann, who will join Mitsubishi as chief operating officer.

For the time being, Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko will remain at the top of the company. Masuko claimed that Ghosn requested him to stay "for the good of the company.” The Renault-Nissan head has placed Nissan's chief competitive officer, Hiroto Saikawa, to run Nissan as co-chief executive while Mitsubishi gets all of its ducks back in a row.