Mitsubishi Banking on Crossovers, Electrics To Secure U.S. Future
Plan Includes Plug-Ins, All-Electric Outlander Sport
In the 1980s and 1990s, Mitsubishi’s prospects in the U.S. market looked strong, with a full-fledged product lineup that included pickups, SUVs, midsize sedans, and compact economy cars. Today, the brand is a shadow of its former self in the U.S., with only two crossovers and the lowest-priced car on the U.S. market being its only noteworthy vehicles at the moment, in the absence of the turbocharged rally-star Lancer Evolution. According to Automotive News, Mitsubishi’s CEO Osamu Masuko said the company will focus its limited resources on development of crossover models and electrified powertrains, building on its core strengths, while eliminating peripheral models that are not competitive with rivals.
What that means for Mitsubishi’s product lineup is no planned replacement for the Lancer compact sedan or Galant midsize sedan, as well as the discontinuation of the electric-only i-MiEV. Instead, Mitsubishi plans on offering plug-in hybrid variants of the Outlander and Outlander Sport and offering an all-electric Outlander Sport to be sold alongside the gas-powered model.
The subcompact three-cylinder Mirage model has proven to be a surprise success for Mitsubishi, now holding the distinction of being the lowest-priced new car in the U.S. Chevrolet has also been surprised by demand for its subcompact Spark hatchback, which gets a full redesign for 2016.
Source: Automotive News