TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the two Japanese automakers entwined in product-sharing partnerships with Chrysler LLC, face divergent fates after the U.S. companys bankruptcy filing.
For Nissan, the bankruptcy could derail three deals just starting. Mitsubishi is largely sheltered, having axed its Chrysler-made Raider pickup.
Its going to have almost no impact on us, Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said. In January, his company said it would kill the rebadged Dodge Dakota by mid-2010.
Nissan spokeswoman Pauline Kee said her company is reviewing Chryslers bankruptcy filing and awaiting details before commenting on the future of product swaps between the companies.
But two key elements of Nissans product-sharing agreement with Chrysler already were under scrutiny: plans to supply Chrysler a small, fuel-efficient Nissan-built car for export to global markets and plans to receive a next-generation Titan pickup based on the Dodge Ram.
Japans Nikkei business newspaper reported today that Chryslers bankruptcy and its alliance with Fiat S.p.A. may drive Nissan to cancel those product exchanges.
Also at risk is a third vehicle-sharing project in which Chrysler would sell a version of Nissans compact Versa sedan in South America this year, the Nikkei said.
Chrysler and Nissan had said earlier that project was still on track.
But Chryslers partnership with Fiat is expected to supply the American company with small cars, meaning Chrysler will have little reason to turn to Nissan. And Fiats large Brazilian operation could supply Chrysler dealers in South America.