23 April 2019
Nissan has stopped sales of the Dayz models supplied by Mitsubishi Motors. Photo: Internet
Nissan has stopped sales of the Dayz models supplied by Mitsubishi Motors. Photo: Internet

Nissan minicar sales plunge on partner Mitsubishi test scandal

Nissan Motor Co. posted a steep plunge in April minicar sales, dragged on by a testing fraud involving its partner Mitsubishi Motors.

Nissan’s minicar deliveries tumbled 51 percent last month, as Japan’s second largest automaker stopped sales of the Dayz models supplied by Mitsubishi Motors after its April 20 admission it manipulated fuel economy test data.

Nissan’s sales of both mini and standard vehicles fell 22 percent, Bloomberg reports.

Mitsubishi Motors posted declines of 45 percent for minicars and 15 percent for total vehicles.

The impact that Mitsubishi Motors’ misconduct is already having on Nissan’s domestic sales adds urgency to the smaller automaker’s investigation of data manipulation and fuel economy testing that hasn’t complied with the nation’s standards since 1991.

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said last week he will wait until all facts are on the table before deciding on the future of the joint venture the two carmakers formed in 2010.

The stop sale of Nissan’s Dayz and Mitsubishi Motors’ eK models cost both automakers market share.
Nissan’s portion of minicar segment sales fell to 5 percent last month from 11 percent in March, while Mitsubishi Motors’ dropped to 1.3 percent from 4.2 percent.

Industry-wide total sales of standard and mini vehicles gained 1.6 percent to 324,748 units, the first increase in 16 months, according to combined figures from the Japan Auto Dealers Association and the minicar association.

Nissan lost 3.2 percentage points of total market share, while Mitsubishi gave up 0.6 percentage point.

Mitsubishi Motors has said its data manipulation and improper testing may result in the company having to compensate customers, Japan’s government and minicar partner Nissan. 

The fuel efficiency of about 625,000 Dayz and eK model minicars were exaggerated by as much as 10 percent.

The automaker avoided issuing a profit forecast for the current fiscal year, saying it’s assessing the impact from testing irregularities involving an untold number of additional models for the last 25 years.

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