Is Nissan Teaming Up With Mitsubishi to Build a Pickup Truck?
If you are familiar with the car market in 2023, you likely know that pickup trucks are extremely popular. In fact, for years, vehicles like the Ford F-150 have been some of the hottest in the industry. So, it does make sense that some brands that don’t have a truck in the United States are looking at ways to get one here. And one of those companies might be Mitsubishi.
Does Mitsubishi have a truck?
Believe it or not, on the global market, Mitsubishi does build a truck. The Mitsubishi pickup truck is known as the Triton, but it is not available in the United States. Although this Japanese automaker is not the most popular in the States, you have to imagine that a midsize truck could do at least decently well.
But, importing a pickup truck is not as easy as just putting them on a boat and shipping them over. I won’t dive too deep into it, but we have something known as the Chicken Tax. This is a 25% tariff put on light trucks imported to the U.S., and it was first implemented back in 1964.
Because of that, if a company wants to sell a truck in the States, it doesn’t really make sense to import one. So a company like Mitsubishi would likely need to partner with someone in order to build a pickup. And that brand might be Nissan.
Nissan might help Mitsubishi build a truck
It is not unheard of for automakers to pair up with each other to cut down on costs and share ideas. It happens all of the time, even in the modern era. According to The Drive, Carson Grover, the Director for Product Planning in North America, has said that Mitsubishi is interested in a pickup truck.
As it stands, for the brand to do that itself, things would get expensive fast. Mitsubishi would have to federalize the Triton and probably find a place to build it. Currently, this truck is built in Thailand and would be subject to the Chicken Tax.
Grover also noted that there is no capacity at any Mitsubishi plant in the U.S. to build a new truck. If the company did pair up with Nissan, the result would likely be some kind of rebadged Frontier. The Frontier is Nissan’s midsize truck, and it just got a redesign in 2022.
A partnership could help Mitsubishi and Nissan
Although a Mitsubishi truck would ultimately have Mitsubishi badging, it could help both brands. The Frontier has been gaining popularity in its third generation, but it is not as hot as something like the Toyota Tacoma. By teaming up, the bottom line would be improved for both companies, and that’s a good thing.
Of course, a new Mitsubishi pickup truck might not be midsize. The Ford Maverick has proven itself to be too popular for its own good. And maybe the time is now for a Japanese small truck to enter the market. For now, this is all speculation. But in my opinion, the more trucks available to consumers, the better.