TOKYO - Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has been exchanging 'shopping lists' of possible collaborative ventures in talks with other companies, President Katsuhiko Kawasoe has disclosed.
Mitsubishi 'has received proposals from a number of companies from different parts of the world,' Kawasoe said during a luncheon with foreign reporters.
'Our basic position is to consider in a positive light any tie-up proposal which brings mutual benefits to the partners in their respective regions and territories.'
His comments on those proposals, however, indicated Mitsubishi is more interested in swapping a few items from the top shelves of aisles 3 and 7 than in buying or selling the entire store.
In reviewing offers from other companies, Kawasoe said, Mitsubishi is looking for 'a complementary relationship where we can support each other,' perhaps in terms of product lineup.
For example, he said Mitsubishi 'would not be cost-competitive' if it tried to produce small diesel engines for passenger cars. 'So diesel technology is on our shopping list,' he said.
On the other hand, Mitsubishi has a competitive edge in the light-truck market that may be attractive to others, he said.
In other remarks, Kawasoe criticized hybrid powerplants as being far less fuel-efficient on a net basis than Mitsubishi's gasoline direct-injection engine technology.
Although Mitsubishi has been a leader in direct-injection technology and plans to have a commercial version of a fuel-cell vehicle on the road in 2005, it has not jumped on the hybrid-vehicle bandwagon.
The hybrid 'is not a viable business,' said Kawasoe.