Photo courtesy of Nissan.

Photo courtesy of Nissan.

Nissan Motor Co. will acquire 34% of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. for 237 billion yen ($2.17 billion) in a deal that makes Nissan the leading investor in the struggling automaker.

Nissan is describing the deal as a "far-reaching strategic alliance" that expands existing work between the two companies. Nissan and Mitsubishi have been collaborating for the past five years.

Nissan and Mitsubishi have agreed to cooperate in areas including purchasing, common vehicle platforms, sharing of technology, joint plant utilization and growth markets, according to Nissan. The partnership may dovetail with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The French automaker owns 43.4% of Nissan.

"This is a breakthrough transaction and a win-win for both Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors," said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's chief executive and president. "It creates a dynamic new force in the automotive industry that will cooperate intensively and generate sizeable synergies. We will be the largest shareholder of MMC, respecting their brand, their history and boosting their growth prospects. We will support MMC as they address their challenges and welcome them as the newest member of our enlarged Alliance family."

In late April, Mitsubishi admitted to inflating fuel-economy ratings for approximately 625,000 vehicles sold in the Japanese market, including the eK Wagon, eK Space, and Nissan Dayz, which the automaker created for Nissan Motor. In July of 2015, Mitsubishi ended U.S. production of vehicles.