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The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is Developing an Intelligent Cloud

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Connecting our vehicles to our homes is the next step for many automakers, and it’s a trend that is slowly popping up. Virtual Assistants, also known as smart devices, have been commonplace since Siri on the Apple iPhone. Then came Corana on Microsoft platforms, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and the list continues to grow. It isn’t just the tech giants getting in on this either – automobile groups have already eyed this as the next niche to break into and dominate. Several automotive brands already have an Amazon Alexa-connected device in their vehicle, a contract with Amazon, or an Alexa skill that can connect consumers to their vehicles from the comfort of their living room. What’s next? Connecting vehicles together with clouds.

Not puffy fluffy clouds made of rain, but the cloud. When people talk about the cloud in terms of computer-speaker, they’re talking about a large server that is used to store information elsewhere, usually in a large data center located somewhere nearby. Clouds are useful for storing data as well as sharing it. Google Drive was possibly one of the first major uses of Cloud computing, allowing businesses to share files and collaborate over long distances. Now, all kinds of companies are making use of clouds, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is one of those automobile groups that are making use cloud computing technology in automobiles.

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Revisiting the Possibilities of the Mitsubishi Triton

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Mitsubishi Motors sure made a comeback after joining up with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, now the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The Alliance discussed their mid-term plans in early February 2020, with a lot of developments already taking place. Nissan recently revealed a cross-brand EV platform, currently in development is a Mitsubishi-branded version of the Renault Trafic van, and in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development, Mitsubishi has released two new hybrid concepts to the auto market. With the growing lineup, vehicles once overseas may finally come ashore. With that in mind, we’re taking a look back at one vehicle Mitsubishi Motors has been on the fence about bringing to the U.S. – the Mitsubishi Triton Pickup Truck.

Why wouldn’t Mitsubishi Motors bring their pickup truck to the North American shore is a wild guess. It’s the perfect time for off-road trucks, especially mid-size trucks, where the gap is large and the segment currently thin with competition. The 2019 Mitsubishi Triton got an upgrade for its fifth-generation and can tango with the big boys. According to Mitsubishi Motors North America CEO Fred Diaz, every meeting ends with a question about the introduction of a truck to the lineup, so the desire is there.

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New Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Rendering Looks Stylish

 

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Way back when Mitsubishi Motors first started breaking into the auto industry, it was with Rally Cars. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution series was some of the automaker’s most popular sports cars, with examples like the EVO-8 powered by a 2.0-liter engine capable of generating over 400 horsepower, and able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 175 mph. At some point, the automaker started to take a turn and shifted the focus from sports cars to crossovers and SUVs. That’s where the auto market has been standing for the past decade or so. The demographic is going to be introduced to more of a new generation (Millennials) and soon a whole new type of creature (Gen Z). We think Mitsubishi Motors saw this coming, and that’s why the automaker is trying to meet halfway with vehicles like the Eclipse Cross and Lancer Crossover Concept. We haven’t heard much about the latter since its first teaser, but the Eclipse Cross is doing much better than some had initially thought, and an artist rendering on the internet has sparked discussion about its new look.

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New Business Plans to be Announced by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

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Ever since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was formed in 2017, and later announced Alliance 2022 and its six-year plan, there hasn’t been a lot of word on what is going on. Yes, we hear about the occasional investment the Alliance makes through Alliance 2022, a $1 billion fundraising campaign started to help develop new startups and entrepreneurs in technology for self-driving robotaxis, car sharing networks, new EV batteries, and new forms of EV charging. Aside from that, there hasn’t been much talk about plans for 2022, two years away. When we take a look at the past few years, progress has slowly been building, and after a meeting between the top leaders of each automaker, the three agreed to share new medium-term business plans around May 2020.

This is great news! Assuming the six-year plan started in 2018 (although it’s more like five years if it ends in 2022), the Alliance is at the halfway point and thus has new plans to put into play at the halfway point. Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) have all agreed to share their respective new medium-term business plans following an agreement at a meeting held between the top leaders of the three-way automotive alliance at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. Nissan President Makoto Uchida had this to say –

“Under the plans, one with the greatest competitiveness will lead the other two in each category, such as compact cars and electric vehicles.”

Simply put, the Alliance is turning into a triangle of sorts. One automaker with success and already proving to be a competitive name in the industry will share technology and success with the other two so that they may also be successful while still remaining competitive internally as well as externally. This is abundantly clear with Mitsubishi Motors, initially slated to be in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development. We could say the automaker is already well on its way with concepts like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, or the Mi-TECH concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, a plug-in hybrid electric engine that replaces the need for an internal combustion engine with a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator powerful enough to drive a small SUV, and able to be powered by various fuel sources, including diesel, kerosene, and alcohol.

When it came to electric vehicle technology, Mitsubishi Motors had okay success with the i-MieV, but the Nissan Leaf has been a success story for all-electric vehicles and Nissan. As luck would have it, Nissan also recently announced the development of a new cross-brand EV platform that will not only be available to all three automakers for future all-electric and battery-electric vehicles, but will also be flexible. This means that the new platform can be utilized by either automaker, and changed based on the size, style, and purpose of its intended use, and most likely different powertrains as well.

Could we see an electric Mitsubishi Mirage? The next-gen Mitsubishi Mirage is supposed to be based on the Nissan Juke, and if electric vehicles and compact cars are on the docket for mid-term business plans, is it really such a farfetched idea? We don’t think so. Tell us your thoughts. Join the discussion about the promising new business plans on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: nippon.com