Mitsubishi Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën have signed a cooperation agreement for the development and production of three new SUV models, the first of which will be available by the end of this year.

Mitsubishi Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën have signed a cooperation agreement for the development and production of three new SUV models, the first of which will be available by the end of this year.

The three SUVs – one for each brand – will be produced at Mitsubishi's Japanese plant and PSA’s share will amount to some 30 000 units a year. All models will be based on a new platform currently being developed by Mitsubishi.

The Peugeot and Citroën models will be powered by Mitsubishi's new range of petrol engines with aluminium cylinder blocks, in addition to PSA's own HDI diesel engines equipped with particulate filters.

The Mitsubishi models will be launched in Japan in the third quarter of 2005. The Peugeot, Citroën and European-specification Mitsubishis will only be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007, before going on sale in European markets.

Much like PSA's earlier collaboration with Toyota, which resulted in a trio of city cars, the models will be specifically styled for each brand, allowing the French manufacturers to enter a fast expanding market segment.

Mitsubishi Motor Corporation anticipates that the additional production volume will ensure increased use of its plants and improve productivity. The company also expects the agreement to help it reach the targets set out for Mitsubishi in its current revitalisation plan.

Meanwhile, despite its miserable financial situation, Mitsubishi continues to churn out fresh products on a regular basis. The company and its European unit have promised a range of production models for the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, including a new concept called the Mitsubishi Concept-Sportback.

The sports hatchback concept is a five-door hatchback previewing the manufacturer’s new C-segment platform. Its exterior styling presents an idea of the direction in which Mitsubishi is moving, with a more prominent diamond logo, and chunky body proportions.

Original article from Car