The Nikkei reports that Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plans to integrated its minivehicle and subcompact vehicle development—the first automaker to do so. Minivehicles (with engine displacement of less than 660 cc and size restrictions) are a separate vehicle category in Japan.
It intends to consolidate development of passenger and commercial minivehicles with engines smaller than 660cc, as well as subcompacts with 1- to 1.3-liter engines. Key to such efforts will be the standardization of platforms, which form the base of a car’s framework.
...In fiscal 2011, Mitsubishi Motors plans to launch a next-generation 1-liter-engine subcompact in Japan and Europe. Timed with this roll-out, it will develop a new platform compatible with minivehicles that will serve as a template for passenger cars. The platform will be phased in when new editions of existing models are introduced. For commercial minivehicles, Mitsubishi Motors will continue to integrate such platforms with those of passenger cars.