Fam­ily ties

4 x 4 Australia - - 4cast -

THIS partner-shar­ing thing is noth­ing new in the ute seg­ment. Apart from the Ford/ Mazda and Gm/isuzu re­la­tion­ships, there are a few oth­ers go­ing to­day.

Nis­san seems to be at­tract­ing more than its share of at­ten­tion with its cur­rent NP300 Navara plat­form. A French­flavoured ver­sion of the Nis­san ute will ar­rive next year with the Re­nault Alaskan and that’s log­i­cal con­sid­er­ing the Nis­san­re­nault Al­liance. What’s not so ap­par­ent is the Nis­san-mercedes-benz part­ner­ship, with the Ger­man gi­ant bring­ing its own ver­sion of the Navara ute to mar­ket in 2018. The Benz pick-up with have dis­tinc­tive MB styling and will be of­fered with a choice of Benz and Re­nault pow­er­trains.

Mit­subishi is shar­ing its Tri­ton ute with Fiat, where it is sold in some mar­kets (not Aus­tralia) as the Fiat Full­back with a Ro­man nose job. Adding a fur­ther twist to this story of in­breed­ing, last month, Nis­san an­nounced its plans to pur­chase a 34 per cent stake of Mit­subishi that would not only res­cue the cash-strapped brand but see it em­bark on a raft of plat­form-shar­ing pro­grams.

Could the Tri­ton and Full­back also ride on the Navara chas­sis? And what of Hilux, Amarok and the Chi­nese utes? Does Toy­ota even care it’s still the mar­ket leader? All we know is that it will be fun times ahead in this boom­ing class of LCVS.

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