In February this year, it was reported that Mitsubishi could be reintroduced to the European market with help from Renault. At the time, we thought the French manufacturer could simply take the task of producing new Mitsubishi models, but it turns out the plan is slightly different.
The two companies have just announced Mitsubishi will start selling two “sister models” produced by Renault from 2023. These two cars will share Renault platforms and technologies, but will feature “differentiations, reflecting the Mitsubishi brand’s DNA.”
With this move, the Japanese firm hopes to become more competitive in the market, where currently it has a very limited model range. The two new Renault-sourced vehicles will join the Eclipse Cross. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi has already confirmed these new Renault-based models won't come to UK.
At this point, nothing is official about which Renault models will be adapted to the needs of Mitsubishi. There have been rumours about a potential resurrection of the Lancer based on the Megane platform, but again, this is just speculation. We hope more details will be released in the coming months.
“Mitsubishi welcomes Renault’s OEM models for the European market, and ultimately new customers,” said Takao Kato, CEO of Mitsubishi. “Mitsubishi has been implementing structural reforms in Europe and our decision to freeze new car development for the European Market, announced in July 2020 in our mid-term business plans, remains. However, the OEM supply agreement will provide us with a solution to offer new products developed and manufactured in Europe.”
Obviously, these two new products won’t be developed by the Japanese company but at least it seems that they will avoid being just a simple "badge engineering". Or, at least, that’s what we hope. All we know so far is that they will be launched only in selected markets in Europe.
Note: Renault Kadjar prototype pictured