Pioneering the alliance - new models make big market debut

On March 28, 2019, a pair of new height (tall) wagons made market debut: Nissan Motor has released "DAYS" and Mitsubishi Motors has released "eK WAGON", both of which belong to the second-generation of Kei-cars developed by the facilitation of NMKV. Each of which is a proud work of confidence and is made with the strong belief of all Project members. In this section we asked for comments from NMKV representatives about their confidence they have in the capabilities of the new model that are unlike any Kei-cars, and about the joy and excitement they share after all those days of hardship.

"We began from eliminating an excuse of 'it can't be helped because it's just a Kei-car' from our mindsets, and focused on creating and materializing a Kei-car that meets high standards. To this end, we have newly developed a car platform, machine powertrain, network of electrical components from a scratch. The role of NMKV is to integrate different processes of Nissan and Mitsubishi into one Scheme and fill in the gap that may appear. I am really pleased to be able to attend an "off-line" ceremony for the new model, the best of breed that combines skills and expertise from each of companies".
Isao Torii, Vice President and COO (Chief Operating Officer)

"The toughest part of the Scheme under which Nissan undertakes the product development and Mitsubishi the production, was the creation of the new model by the members from different backgrounds and cultures. The best part was the engineers from product development and production stick to the philosophy of "Three Realism" and worked together, making everything in an open manner and bringing them to completion. It was fun to work like that. We have spent a lot of time to sustain the performance while satisfying the cost targets, so the result turned out to be a car that is truly beyond the typical standard of Kei-cars".
Yoshio Horiuchi, Director and CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

"Although two companies share the ethos in criteria, an approach toward the manufacturing and methodology differ one another. It comes as fastballs or changeups so to speak; the mission of NMKV is to explain the reason for such selection to the engineers of product development of Mitsubishi and help them manufacture the vehicles in a Nissan way. We have confidence in the new model as the result of our partnership. I believe it is superior to other competitors' models in aspects of quality, pricing, capabilities, and all other factors".
Yoshihiro Nishiyama, Director and CPEO (Chief Production Engineering Officer)

"I volunteered to join this Project because I wanted to build a new standard for the Kei-car market for the new Japanese era. The interior is spacious, and the appearance is splendid. And it is also convenient and easy to use. As it belongs to a Kei-car segment, the cost efficiency is great - but also note that the car offers a fun driving experience. In terms of safety, we have implemented every technology into the vehicle body that Nissan has. By selling a large number of units, we hope that they expand to form a base for proposing a new standard for the industry, which will give a sense of crisis to other car manufacturers.
Hirohide Tagawa, CPS (Chief Product Specialist)

"I'm relieved that we have reached the "off-line" ceremony, at last. Under the alliance scheme of Nissan and Mitsubishi, the most difficult challenge has been to find a way to materialize 'an explicit Mitsubishi-ness that is easily indistinguishable', while adopting the common vehicle frame that is easy to utilize for both parties. In that sense, I am confident that we have achieved the goal and made the best possible Kei-car. By exploring into a variety of ideas from an artistic point of view, we have made an active Kei-car that truly responds to our 'customer expectations'"
Atsushi Kikkawa, CPS (Chief Product Specialist)

"Whenever we reached a milestone during the product development phase, we invited our executives, employees of foreign affiliate companies, and sales representatives to test drive the developing model and listened to their opinions. Everyone extoled the models, which encouraged us greatly and boost our confidence to continue our job. Since the formation of the alliance by Nissan and Mitsubishi, we together have addressed many issues through an open and equal relationship. I'm so excited to be where we stand now. It's an innovative, long-waited model, so I hope to see many customers driving them to have fun".
Yuushi Saitou, CVE (Chief Vehicle Engineer)

Endo, President and CEO, NMKV

As closing remarks of the interviews, Junichi Endo, President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of NMKV says as follows: "NMKV has taken on a major challenge in this Project. The challenge comprises so-called 'triple jumps". The first jump is to adopt an entirely new platform and engine in comparison with the other production models which utilize the existing components. The second jump is to try to explicitly separate the design concepts into a Nissan model and a Mitsubishi model to retain the difference. The third jump is to adopt Nissan's most advanced technologies in a proactive manner while making use of Mitsubishi's expertise in the Kei-car development and manufacturing. More than five years before the launch of this new alliance, NMKV has begun to serve as a facilitator to build a bridge between Nissan and Mitsubishi. That's why we were able to perform the "triple jump" in the Project of creating the second-generation of height wagons. The Kei-car Project, led by NMKV, can be interpreted as a successful pilot business model for the new alliance. We will continue to work as a pioneer so that the Project will hopefully serve as a great example for other future alliances".

The challenge of NMKV will continue far into the future.