Will the next Nissan Navara be a Mitsubishi Triton or will the Triton be a Navara? 

The Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Alliance has confirmed that many of its future models will essentially be rebadged versions of each other’s cars, utes and SUVs.

It means models from the brands such as the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara, and the Nissan Terra and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, could become the same car underneath and outside, using the same panels and ladder-frame platform in production.

The move, says the Alliance operating board and Renault CEO Jean-Dominique Senard, will bring back at least a 40 per cent savings in development and construction costs, equalling billions of dollars saved over the long run. Furthermore, it is expected the group will halve the number of platforms it requires, from using eight to four.

“It will bring out the most of each company’s assets and performing capabilities, while building on their respective cultures and legacies,” said Senard, adding that it will increase “their respective competitiveness, sustainable profitability and social and environmental responsibility,”

In the Alliance announcement given last night, Senard described the new operating structure as a leader-follower system, with one manufacturer leading development on a model and the other(s) adopting it almost entirely.

Going forward, Renault will develop small cars, Nissan will develop small-medium vehicles and electric vehicles, and it is expected although not confirmed that Mitsubishi is leading development of a new body-on-frame platform to underpin future utes and four-wheel drive wagons.

That platform would be used in any new dual-cab ute from Nissan and Mitsubishi – or even Renault with its Alaska – and also models such as the Pajero Sport and Terra.

Technologies, such as connectivity and driverless systems, will also be split between the manufacturers and shared.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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