A fresh report out of Australia claims the next-generation Nissan Navara will effectively be a “clone” of the new Mitsubishi Triton thanks to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s fresh cost-cutting strategy.

The Alliance recently announced “several initiatives as part of a new co-operation business model to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of the three partner companies”. One of those is a “leader-follower” scheme for the development of new vehicles.

Under this cost-saving scheme, models across the three brands will share not only platforms but “upper bodies”, too.

When it comes to bakkies, according to CarAdvice, Mitsubishi will take the lead, with Nissan and Renault following. That suggests the next-gen Navara (and Alaskan successor, if there is one) will effectively be a rebadged Triton.

The Australian publication claims to have knowledge of a “recent internal study” by the Alliance that showed the total cost of developing and building the Triton was “significantly cheaper” than that of the Navara.

As CarAdvice points out, the next-gen Triton is about three years away, while the new Navara is around five years into the future. The report claims the latter will be a “clone” of the former, differentiated only by small details such as the grille, wheels and badges.

Of course, the leader-follower strategy will extend beyond commercial products, with passenger vehicles also in line to share platform and upper bodies.