Earlier in November 2018, the head of Mitsubishi Motors suggested the Japanese brand would “take the lead” on the development of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s next-generation bakkies and ladder-frame SUVs. But now Nissan says this won’t necessarily be the case.

Pedro de Anda, Nissan’s chief product specialist, told Drive Mitsubishi had been hasty with its comments.

“I’m aware of what Mitsubishi said and they have their reasons for saying that,” he told the Australian publication.

“But we said when this Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance was created that we were, of course, looking at different synergies and when our product lifecycles align we will share a platform.

"It’s a little bit too early; we’ve just been in a partnership for a year to a year-and-a-half,” de Anda said. "Which platform and who would do what – that is something when the time comes will be decided.

"We are still in a very premature stage. I can’t give too many details – who will do what we will eventually be able to confirm.”

Mitsubishi chief operating officer Trevor Mann had earlier suggested to the same publication Mitsubishi rather than Nissan would lead the development of upcoming ladder-chassis products (such as the recently refreshed Triton bakkie and the Pajero Sport).

“When we look at the job shares between the Alliance from a development point of view going forward, it’s indicated that we would take the lead, if you like, on frame development and PHEV development, because that’s our know-how,” Mann told the Australian publication.

“Now obviously Nissan also has a level of 4×4 capability. But I think what we have with our 4×4 capability in terms of our super all-wheel-control, that defines our brand,” Mann had said.