TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors will begin supplying Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with sedans for sale in Asian markets later this year.
The Japanese carmaker will supply Fiat Chrysler with several thousand Attrage sedans, which it began producing at its Thai facility last year. The car, which is based on another Mitsubishi vehicle, the Mirage, sports a 1.2-liter engine and achieves a fuel economy of 22km per liter, in line with European standards. An announcement is expected as early as the start of next week.
Fiat Chrysler will apparently sell the vehicles under the Chrysler marque in Asian markets including China. The company's global sales volume came to about 4.4 million last year, putting it in the No. 7 spot, but it sold only around 160,000 of those vehicles in Asia -- less than a tenth the figure for North America.
While Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand has proved strong in emerging markets, the Chrysler-branded lineup, which is focused on sedans, continues to struggle. By procuring relatively inexpensive, fuel-efficient cars from Mitsubishi Motors, Fiat Chrysler aims to expand its Chrysler offerings and boost market share in Asia.
Mitsubishi Motors seeks to put a restructuring saga of recent years behind it and pivot to a growth strategy focused on revving up its presence in Asia.
The Thai factory is Mitsubishi Motors' top production base, boasting a capacity of around 500,000 vehicles a year and an output equivalent to half the company's global sales volume. The deal to supply Fiat Chrysler will yield additional volume efficiency and help boost cost competitiveness.