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Next Generation of CVT Transmissions from Nissan and Mitsubishi

For those of you sitting around waiting for the next move by Mitsubishi, Good news is at hand.   For some who closely watch what goes on in Japan.  You already know that Mitsubishi has already been selling the Mirage all over Asia.  The Mirage and other small vehicles produced by Nissan & Mitsubishi are now using a new type of CVT produced by Jatco.  Jatco is the worlds largest manufacturer of Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) and if you drive a Mitsubishi Lancer. Chances are you have a CVT in there.

While these transmissions in general have had their draw backs.  The quest for reliability and fuel economy have been a chief concerns for all companies involved.  Jatco has raised the bar by address some of the criticisms of the CVT.  The main problem would be the lack of performance in acceleration RPM rev-up.    I myself own a Mitsubishi Lancer GTS equipped with a CVT.  I love the smooth ride and decent fuel economy.  But I could not bare the lack of initial response when the car was in D (Drive) mode.  I couldn’t a yellow light at an intersection if my life depended on it.  (Trust me… I don’t try)  Typically one would have to mash the gas pedal or use the manual mode shifter to get the car to dig in and go.

This was something that I solved by purchasing a Sprint Booster for my laggy CVT.  This solved the fuzzy logic of the transmission and allowed the driver to easily control the Power / RPM  to get the exact level performance without having to mash the gas pedal.   Sprint Booster is very liberating.

But…. getting to the good news about fuel CVT transmissions.  It appears that Jatco may have gotten the logic just right for transmission response.  Working with Mitsubishi and Nissan on integration of the new system, throttle response should be improved.  Even if the Mirage isnt your cup of tea…. The next generation of Mitsubishi cars will have the same enhancements.  I didnt even mention the 10% fuel economy bonus.  😉

If you would like to know more about the CVT.  Check out this video.

 

Happy Holidays and end of the Mitsubishi world?

 

We seemed to get thru the real Mayan end of the world just fine.  But again many out there tend to think that Mitsubishi may fall on it’s sword in the new year.  Many posted this video link on the internet which caused a bit of stir lately.  http://finance.yahoo.com/topics/financially-fit/finfit-6-brands-likely-disappear-150000624.html Is this true?  The short answer is…. No.  While yes Mitsubishi is suffering a huge cash crunch as they restart the franchise, and yes their marketing for the past 4 years has been less than stellar.   Mostly because of 3 big factors,  just bad timing, bad luck, and strategic partners that just wasn’t in it to win it.

 

The marketing and selection of cars in 2007 required a bit more of a broader line up.  The Mitsubishi Lancer was launched successful but because Mitsubishi cut of the cars that made its self great without offering greener options.  This hurt Mitsubishi big time.  The EVO, Lancer, and Outlander became its only winners.  Most of Mitsubishi sales have been because of these 3 variants.  Eclipse didn’t really go anyway.  The number one thing that Mitsubishi missed out on was the Mitsubishi Colt which met all of the objectives for what Mitsubishi wanted.  I have been told that at the time Mitsubishi felt the success of the colt would be marginal.  To be honest, if it was me, I think it would have been the gamble that could have changed the tide of the war.  The green push in my opinion is a good thing, but it was too radical and too quick of a timetable.   Mitsubishi released some ads that completely offended their customer base vs. converted their customer base to greener pastures.

Bad luck?  Yes the Earthquake really hit Mitsubishi and it’s semi sister company Nissan very hard.  A lot of production was tide together in Japan, and the earthquake caused massive delays.

 

One of things that really huge Mitsubishi was the world engine alliance.  The birth of the 4B11 engine was both a great thing for the world but a bad bet/ investment for Mitsubishi.  Sharing technology with Hyundai and Dodge was something that definitely benefited the two others.  Hyundai used the technology in their Hyundai Genesis and made a better product as a result.  Albeit an engine with cast internals, they still understood well enough.  Dodge on the other hand. Took the technology and ran.  Buying out Mitsubishi and Hyundai’s share and making a new partnership with Fiat.  In other words, those wonderful people at Dodge ended their alliance with Mitsubishi again…. and bolted.  They executed the plan of smaller cars by themselves leaving Mitsubishi high and dry.

After all these kicks to the nuts.  Mitsubishi keeps on moving.  If Mitsubishi was not balls in to win this, they would not be signing production agreements for North America.  Mitsubishi Japan has an extensive financial arm that keeps pumping money into this fight.  But to be completely open here. Unless Mitsubishi A) brings in sport options to all of its cars.  (cough cough Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart)  B) Reactivates the Ralliart Japan program… I feel Mitsubishi’s days are numbered.

I am still hopeful that new management will see the light and make the franchise successful in 2013/2014 which they release new cars.

 

 

 

 

Mitsu Press Release: Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Expand OEM Business in Japan


YOKOHAMA/TOKYO (Sept. 22, 2011) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced that the two companies have agreed to expand the scope of their OEM supply agreements in the Japanese market as follows:
  1. Nissan will provide the Fuga luxury sedan to Mitsubishi Motors starting from summer 2012.
  2. The two companies have started deliberations on the provision of Mitsubishi Motors’ MINICAB-MiEV commercial mini EV to Nissan in fiscal year 2012.
The two new OEM project agreements are part of the core agreement signed in December 2010 to expand cooperation between the two companies. These new projects follow on a prior agreement for Nissan to provide the NV200 Vanette compact van to Mitsubishi Motors starting from October 2011, together with the establishment of the joint venture NMKV Co., Ltd., in June 2011. These initiatives are intended to strengthen the competitiveness of both companies in Japan.

Its confirmed ;) Mitsubishi getting a new flagship luxury sedan from Nissan

While I knew about this since December…  The spring earthquake put a dark cloud of the project.  And just about everything going on with Nissan.  Nissan got hit pretty bad and on the morning of the earth quake very important talks were going on for more joint venture projects.  I am happy to see that Mitsubishi has stepped in the right direction to flush out its product lean product line up.

WIN!!

mitsubishi gets new sedan from Nissan.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is getting a new flagship luxury model that could–in Japan at least–be a successor to the Diamante sedan that was killed off in 2004.

Under an agreement announced Sept. 22, Mitsubishi will start selling a rebadged version of the Nissan Fuga sedan–known in the United States as the Infiniti M–in Japan next summer.

Mitsubishi said it is not considering selling the vehicle overseas. It also declined to say what the car would be called or what the company’s sales target is.

As part of the agreement, the two companies have also begun negotiations about Nissan receiving a version of Mitsubishi’s Minicab-MiEV all-electric commercial minivan.

The deal is just the latest between Mitsubishi and Nissan Motor Co.–the companies signed a cooperation agreement in December 2010.

Nissan has already agreed to provide its NV200 Vanette compact van to Mitsubishi, and the two companies formed a joint venture to make mini vehicles for Japan’s domestic market.

Mitsubishi’s bid to get a rebadged Fuga from Nissan was expected.

President Osamu Masuko said earlier this year the plan was under study. But he denied that that Mitsubishi would leverage OEM manufacturing deals to flesh out its U.S. lineup.

Still, adding an Infiniti-based offering could spice up its offerings in North America. Mitsubishi’s aging Galant is the current top rung offering in the United States. Mitsubishi has already announced it will phase out the car by 2013.

Mitsubishi’s previous flagship, the Diamante, saw its sales peak at 25,267 in 1993. But volume dipped below 10,000 before Mitsubishi decided in 2004 to kill it.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110922/CARNEWS/110929966#ixzz1YiI03F3a

Quick Buzz: Other Japanese automakers turn their efforts towards the mini car market

Mitsubishi and Nissan have already solidified their relationship and efforts into developing vehicles in the mini car market.  Honda has announced that they are looking to double mini car sales.  This shows that Mitsubishi’s efforts in this space on on the right track with Nissan’s help.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/05/us-honda-idUSTRE78402T20110905

A deep look in Mitsubishi mini car joint venture with

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-largest automaker, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will sell their initial joint minicar model in the first half of 2013.

The two automakers, which have set up minicar joint venture NMKV, will also build the next versions of the eKWagon and Otti models, the companies say.

Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to develop a new platform and engine at the venture, the carmakers said.

The partnership gives the manufacturers greater economies of scale while allowing them to enter market segments with less investment.

The two carmakers already co-operate by supplying minicars with engines no larger than 660cc, and commercial vehicles. Nissan, maker of the Leaf electric car, and Mitsubishi, which sells the i-MiEV, also aim to work together on electric minicars, they said.

Nissan and Mitsubishi aim to increase their combined minicar market share to 20 per cent from 15 per cent, said Junichi Endo, the venture’s chief executive. The automakers expect demand to shift from standard cars to minicars in Japan.

The 50-50 joint venture will first begin producing cars at Mitsubishi Motors’ Mizushima plant in western Japan and plans to expand business in Asia, the companies said.

Source: Bloomberg News July 1st 2011

Why Mitsubishi should think carefully about Hybrid Technology!

Why Mitsubishi should think carefully about Hybrid Technology!

Nissan made a painful decision earlier this year.   The decided to drop the Altima Hybrid for the 2012 year.   Sales were… just not there.  Also I think we have reached a peak in hybrid interest.  The problem is the arms race between next generation technology is heating up.   Some automakers have opted to stay out of the green hype and continue to refine their powertrain technology and make more fuel efficient engines.   Others have put turbo technology to work.  Making them very green when mated with smaller displacement engines.  The Chevy cruze makes an outstanding fuel economy numbers.  Something that the Mitsubishi Colt currently available in Europe can do if optimized just right.  While its rumored the Colt is in redesign, the current generation is ready to go and just right for this type of market.

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors announce new joint venture mini car project

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors announce new joint venture mini car project

A few days ago Mitsubishi made a press release announcing more joint operations with Nissan.  This is one of a series of mid size global projects announced within the last year.  My sources within Mitsubishi management signal that there is one further joint operation that is currently under review.  Unfortunately with the recent Natural disaster in northern japan, talks have been suspended as Mitsubishi and Nissan focus on their own production halts and damage assessments.   Below is the official global press release highlighted in read.