By on November 12, 2012

Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko re-affirmed his company’s commitment to the American marketplace, despite seeing most of its product line eliminated, and the flagship i electric car fail miserably. Despite these Job-like setbacks, Mitsubishi will release more new product in 2013, including a plug-in hybrid SUV and an all-new A/B segment car.

Despite sales projections of 20,000 units annually, Automotive News is reporting that Mitsubishi has sold less than 500 examples of the i through October, and plans for a successor are now dead. Where Mitsubishi will hit back is with plug-in cars and what Masuko calls “attractive products” that will motivate dealers to invest in upgrading their facilities.

The Outlander will hit showrooms in July, followed by the tiny, three-cylinder Mirage hatchback in September. A plug-in Outlander will go on sale in early 2014. Mitsubishi is also planning to increase capacity at their Illinois plant from 50,000 to 70,000 units a year, largely for exporting vehicles to world markets. While Masuko is looking to double sales to 100,000 units in America by 2014, Mitsubishi has a long way to go. As it stands now, only Suzuki cars sell worse among Japanese brands, and they won’t be around much longer.

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20 Comments on “Mitsubishi To Spearhead U.S. Revival With Outlander, Mirage...”


  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    I’d kinda like to see the Colt sold here, especially the Ralliart version. It’s styling is much more in line with the rest of Mitsubishi’s line-up, whereas the Mirage just looks cheap and sort of anonymous.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Maybe they can pick up some would-be Suzuki customers .

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      Suzki’s sales numbers are so small, will not help much. Also, those customers are high risk credit buyers. Mitsu go in trouble from selling to them to pad the sales. Remember “0,0,0 for a year!”?

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    The Mirage is designed to be a cheap car in ‘developing’ economies, and looks every bit of it – it won’t revive the brand in the US.

  • avatar
    tatracitroensaab

    Mitsu cannot compete with a mediocre SUV and a compact. I am utterly surprised that they’re not replacing the Lancer. That’s like the only car in their entire line up that has any name equity. People who only sort of know cars can name the Subaru WRX and the mitsu lancer evo, but there is no way that they are ever going to pay attention to the rest of the line up. For mitsu to succeed they need to build a new lancer that kicks a** and maybe even an eclipse – it wouldn’t sell well but if it’s designed to compete against the FRS it could get people actually talking about the brand again

    • 0 avatar
      gessvt

      +1 on name equity. This has to be their focus in order to survive in the US. Reintroduce the Montero and Galant and do as you said with the Lancer and Eclipse.

      Hybrids will garner interest, but forget the EV plan for now.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Yeah! I will really be looking forward to that Mirage at the rental counter – or not.

  • avatar
    Skink

    Is the Outlander Sport a goner? It’s a good-looking vehicle.

    By the way, if you can count them, use, ‘fewer’, not, ‘less’.

  • avatar

    Too bad about the i, it was blatantly outclassed by the Leaf. But 500 sales? That has to hurt, bad …

    D

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Seeing the iMev for the first time was a big disapointment. It looks cheap and amaturish from every angle, like something ikea would sell in a kit form. Is there any reason for Mitsubishi to stay in the U.S. Market?

  • avatar
    Easton

    The i-MiEv looked awful. I can’t believe a company out there actually thought 20,000 people per year would want one. The Mirage is similarly destined to fail.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    And ya’ll say Acura is dead? Compared to Mitsu it looks like GM vs Yugo.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Mitsubishi cars may stay here since the Parent Company will want to save face. But, anyone thinking they will ever make a comeback to the “good ol’ DSM days” is dreaming.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    It probably won’t sell too well over here, but the new Mirage sounds like a nice, cheap and cheerful runabout to me.

    At 500lbs lighter than NC Miata, it might even be fun to drive, and the mileage is quite good for a non-hybrid.

    I’m curious about the projected price, considering the car sells for almost exactly half the price of base Galant Fortis (aka Lancer) back home. It’s a B-segment car you can buy for a Kei car price.

  • avatar

    Forget the stupid plug-in cars and the three-cylinder runabouts, Mitsubishi needs an icon. It needs to go for broke. It needs something that defines this generation, that has the practicality and economical factor to draw hundreds of thousands of people to the dealership, and whose fame will outlast the drivers.

    Now how hard is that? :P

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      +1 on assessment of an icon vehicle and Mitsu having to go to the ‘Hail Mary’ pass for a touchdown, but honestly, believe all that would really do would be to tie the game. Not to mix metaphors, but once Chrysler sold/dumped their portion, Mitsu has been in the Rope-a-Dope that just about everyone had been anticipating a slow out-for-the-count from the North American market. However, I for one would prefer Mitsu go out in a blaze of eternal automotive glory (ala Studebaker after the Avanti) than go wimpering into the cold, dark night like Suzuki has.

  • avatar
    Zewspeed

    The finest piece of junk car I have ever owned is a 1995 Mirage S Coupe. If the new one is cheap and half as well-built as my aged friend, I’m in for one.


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