By on November 15, 2013

6thGalantVR-4

Today’s edition of Ur-Turn comes from Brian Driggs, a long-time TTAC reader, Mitsubishi fan and published of Gearbox Magazine, a digital enthusiast publication that we highly recommend.

As a North American Mitsubishi enthusiast, I often find the dismissive comments about the brand disappointing. While the US might be the second largest market on the planet (second to China, I suspect), it’s far from being the only market. I believe Mitsubishi is diversified enough they can afford to be more proactive with regard to automotive trends. News of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi partnership only supports that belief.

Mitsubishi doesn’t necessarily have to move a lot of units in the US market. While everyone else is focused on converting existing models into hybrids, I see Mitsubishi looking beyond, to the next generation of electric vehicles and infrastructure. They don’t have to change up their message every month because everyone still thinks their $40,000 “EV” is really a hybrid. They’re just quietly evolving into a fun-to-drive electric brand for the masses; laggards in one respect, early adopters in another.

Back to the new partnership. By now, everyone is familiar with the details; Renault-Nissan gets access to more EV technology and Mitsubishi gets a “new” model to likely replace the now soundly stale, North American Galant. All three will collaborate on a couple new models in the not-too-distant future, which should be nice.

Still, the comments run the full, incredulous gamut, from “I can’t believe Mitsubishi is still in business,” to “Mitsubishi is still doing sub-prime auto lending?” Yeah. That’s right. They are still in business and they are still doing sub-prime lending. This new partnership isn’t meant to reinvent their brand in America. It’s meant to keep costs down while they continue developing the vehicles they know the world is going to demand as fuel prices continue to rise (and corporate welfare hopefully ends) in coming years.

So who are the EV experts these days? Tesla comes to mind; Bold, innovative, exotic. Nissan’s up there with the Leaf. And then there’s Mitsubishi. What’s that? You’ve never seen an iMiEV on your way to work? That’s okay. They just took second and third place at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb this year, giving “Monster” Tajima a good run for his money in the rain. They also build electric trains, industrial lasers, consumer electronics, and dabble in nuclear power generation. I’d say they know what they’re doing.

The global auto industry is so inbred these days, it’s foolish to single out any one player as somehow being destined to fail – especially based on it’s perceived performance in the American market. Globally, Mitsubishi is doing just fine, and I’d offer their ability to weather the economic downturn whilst remaining focused on the product lineup they want to sell speaks to the quality of their brand.

Not to say I consider anyone here a fool for taking a comfortable seat on the Sycophant Express – we all do it. I’m quick to point out the only reason GM is remotely profitable today isn’t because they’re making better cars, but because they’re still enjoying limited competition in the truck market and because, for some strange reason, they’re huge in China. That’s my personal hangup.

We’re all bound to have different opinions, but our shared interest in the auto industry, in all its interwoven complexity, is a solid foundation upon which we can build greater understanding of the world around us. I’ll be honest with you, barring announcement the Mitsubishi Triton will be built in the States, or that this merger will mean I can get finally get a turbo-diesel, 6-speed manual, all-wheel drive, ASX4 (unlikely, as that’s a partnership with Peugeot and Citroën), news of this merger hardly moves my pulse. It does, however, show me Mitsubishi is still doing better than many had thought and remains focused on the long game and, in that respect, pleases me.

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Brian Driggs is Editor-in-Chief of Gearbox Magazine

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46 Comments on “Ur-Turn: Mitsubishi’s Biggest Fan Discusses The Renault-Nissan Deal...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    This post was interesting enough to get me to check out Gearbox Magazine, but not in any way convincing that Mitsubishi isn’t a dead carmaker walking. So I guess the idea here is that it’s OK that Mitsubishi is failing at making actual cars, because they will win in the end by making electric cars.

    That’s a fine hypothesis, but I personally am not buying into it until I see an actual market for electric cars that could sustain a major automaker. So far, the market has seen tons of investment, but meaningless market share.

    Until I see a roadmap to battery technology that enables energy storage performance close to what gas provides today, I’ll remain a skeptic.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This. You can’t ignore a current major market because you think a different market, maybe, might do well or be mandatory later.

      I could produce CD players, but I’m not going to. I’ll just keep making cassette tapes because hey, people won’t like round things forever and they’ll go back to square. I’ll show em!

      Also relevant – Mitsu doesn’t even have a full passenger vehicle lineup in their OWN HOME COUNTRY. I checked.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not suggesting we ignore any market, just saying it’s perhaps foolish to jump on the bandwagon based primarily on the happenings of anything less than a global perspective.

        Tesla isn’t a “major” automaker, but they’re growing on an exclusively electric product lineup, even to the point of inciting the ire of dealership groups. First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win. People aren’t taking Tesla to court because they aren’t perceived as a threat.

        There was also a story on the news yesterday about how IBM is currently developing battery technology which is 1/5 the size, but delivers 5X the output. They expect it to be ready within 10 years.

        Again, I’m not saying “ignore a current major market.” I’m saying it’s unwise to base an assumption on one’s local experience in one market.

        I like your CDs vs. cassettes example, though, and I’ll raise you. I’m not going to discount the company focused on developing the next generation of Bluray just because everyone else is doing well selling CDs right now.

        And, when you checked the Mitsubishi lineup in Japan, did you miss this page?

        http://www.mitsubishi-motors.co.jp/lineup/index.html#/car

        I count 24 models, including the PHEV Outlander and iMiEV; the RVR, ASX, and Pajero full-sized SUV; the D:2, D:3, D:5 Delica van; the new Mirage; the Proudia Dignity (V8, based on the Equus); the Galant (on which the Evolution X is built); and the eK line of Kei cars.

        He who is looking for something often misses much that is not exactly what he wishes to find.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          A valid point, but I count far fewer models – not counting a different variation/grille of the same car as a different model.

          And I don’t like seeing those Infinitis on there as Mitsus! >.<

        • 0 avatar

          Corey is clearly right: they only offer variations of Mirage in B-class and Lancer in C-class, that’s it. They have nothing near D-class and rebadge Infinity M as a full-sizer. Even Subaru has more product than this! Now, of course Delica and eK are fine and interesting, but they aren’t going to plug the holes in the lineup.

  • avatar
    RyleyinSTL

    Mitsubishi as a builder of electric “drivers” cars? The very fact that they still sell the Galant (as at 2012 model no less), a car that is the bread and butter of any US automaker, has me convinced they died a long time ago. You need to walk before you can run….and Mitsubishi isn’t even crawling yet.

    • 0 avatar

      The Galant, as we see it in the US market, is probably ONLY sold in the US market. Strip away the high strung, athletic drivetrain from the current Evolution X and you will be looking at the latest generation of Galant in the home market.

      Mitsubishi was running 25 years ago, when they introduced the Galant VR4. Then came the Lancer Evolution, followed by the DSM, and 3000GT(O). To discount these models as not being driver’s cars is foolhardy.

      Their entrance – and relative success – at Pike’s Peak this year demonstrates they’re still interested in motorsport, which I’d say is a good sign of being interested in designing fun to drive vehicles, but from an EV perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Not sure what 25 years ago has to do with anything. The 3000GT was an epic car for its time. So was the AMC AMX. That fact didn’t save AMC decades after they stopped producing the AMX.

        • 0 avatar

          Interesting choice the 3000GT… Never owned one, but they showed up well when they brought it out. Epic? Not for me. I picked an Acura NSX and I think that I still have loose fillings as a result, but it was a firecracker and lovely to look at. To me that was an spic car

          Ironically, I did actually own an AMX wagon… it was less than stellar in oh so many ways, but I liked its looks pretty well. Why the choice?

          So one out of two is not bad. I am not sure what 25 years means either… Seems like yesterday to me. Lets see Nash Ramblers and Metropolitans were not so good either as I recall. I do not miss AMC at all.

          My absoute favorite car ever for its era? I still have a lovely Primrose 68 Etype 1.5 Jaguar Coupe in my garage (much prettier than a roadster imo) that was my daily driver for many years. So, guess what, I still love Jaguars and love this new one just for that reason after 45 years?

          Am I rambling here? Sorry.

    • 0 avatar
      IndianaDriver

      I wouldn’t count Mitsubishi out yet – I think they still have some life in them in the U.S.. I have my December 2013 issue of Consumer Reports here that shows the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is the 2nd highest rated small SUV for reliability behind the Subaru Forester. The Mitsubishi score is ahead of Toyota, Honda, far ahead of other Asian rivals like Nissan, Mazda and Hyundai/Kia and quite a bit ahead of the U.S. manufacturers. Actually, when I extrapolate their reliability score across all types of vehicles, it is one of the highest scoring that I see listed in Consumer Reports. I think Mitsubishi is building a pretty solid product these days, but they need more models in the showrooms and more brand awareness.

      • 0 avatar

        So you Hoosiers still read Consumer Reports for your car choices?

        • 0 avatar
          IndianaDriver

          I read Consumer Reports for a lot of different test results from food to tires and lots of things in between. They do not accept advertising money, so you’re less likely to see bias with them. Over the years, I’ve bought their recommended TVs, washers, refrigerators, etc… and have never had a single problem with what I purchased. If you’re in the market for a big purchase and you don’t have a Consumer Reports subscription, check it out at your local library.

          • 0 avatar

            Read CR since probably about 1956 or so and have subscribed for at least 35 years, however:

            There are a few places where I would not give them the time of day: alternative medicine and their opinions on cars.

            Their records on cars are fine, though. If you are a driver and a motorhead, they miss the mark. For that R&T, etc fit better. They are hardly cutting edge in any way… paid or not, imo. Washers and fridges, sure.

            When it comes to health, they will get you killed… mark my words. They are idiots.

  • avatar
    mike978

    You state correctly that we shouldn`t judge Mitsubishi a failure based upon their dismal US performance. But they are also dismal in Europe, the third largest market. So they are 1 for 3 in the largest markets of the world. They have an aging range (which you didn`t disagree with) and do not cover the full product range successfully (compact and midsize car, compact CUV etc).

    Suzuki is successful in other markets but still left the US. You really think Mitsubishi won`t do the same in the next few years?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Mitsubishi turns a profit in Europe, and is the region responsible for its highest sales volumes. Not much market share, but there are earnings.

      • 0 avatar

        The numbers don’t lie, but I’m not really interested in the numbers. Taken alone, they’re merely a single facet of a single line of business in a highly complex, global entity. There’s a sad focus on near term results these days.

        Are they dismal in Europe? I don’t know. I don’t follow the numbers. But I can tell you I went to a Mitsubishi meet in Germany in the summer of 2012 which easily had 300 enthusiasts attending from multiple countries. I can tell you in the two weeks I spent driving around southern England and across the EU to the Berlin area, the most common (pickup) truck I saw the entire time was the Mitsubishi Triton, with only the VW Amarok making a few random appearances. Oh, but I *did* see *one* F150. It was obviously a Monster Energy marketing prop, though.

        Does Suzuki have the kind of backing Mitsubishi has? I think Mitsubishi knows the larger markets outside China are going to see continuously increasing EV demand and are readying themselves to deliver.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “Im not really interested in the numbers.”

          And that’s exactly the problem with your piece. You can’t claim to understand a business, while having no knowledge of how the business is performing.

          Incidentally, Tesla isn’t much of a role model. It’s a money loser, and it hardly sells any cars.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Numbers are everything for mass-market cars. Cars are perishable products that require frequent redesign. The profit per vehicle multiplied by numbers sold funds the expensive development of the next model. Insufficient numbers and/or insufficient profits mean there’s no sustainable future.

          The problem for electric cars for the last 100 plus years is they are chasing a moving target. Internal combustion engine cars get better and remain the better cheaper choice. Batteries need to get considerably less expensive and longer lasting for EVs to catch up.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Touchy, touchy. I don’t think many (if any) people here spent much thought on Mitsubishi Motor’s chances globally, or their viability as an industrial conglomerate. For better or worse, this is a US-focused website (albeit one that does have more international content than most others) and the comments about “Mitsu-who?” were directed at their chances in the US market.

    It’s all well and good that they have some far-reaching long-term plan. (Although I don’t think the iMiEV is a great argument for that plan, last time I read anything about it, the reviews compared it rather unfavorably with the Leaf… road-racing prowess isn’t really much of a selling point for electric econobox buyers.) But in the meantime if they want to keep US dealers from shutting their doors they need a viable product mix, and they simply do not have one. Just replacing the Galant (with a French platform few US mechanics are going to recognize, no less) isn’t going to cut the mustard.

    And they “weathered the downturn well while remaining focused on their lineup”? Did you type that with a straight face? If they were so focused on their lineup, how on earth did it get so stale?

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not touchy at all. I say all of this with a smile on my face. :)

      I knew, going in, that this piece would be akin to stepping in front of the villagers, with their torches and pitchforks, to say, “Can’t we all just get along?” This being the internet, and backfire effect being such that it is, I’m satisfied with the results.

      My comments about weathering the downturn and focusing on their product lineup was perhaps too subtle? Maybe I should have been more clear. They weathered the downturn while remaining focused on their target lineup.

      Again, we’re selling ourselves short by focusing on the USDM. A look at their home market reveals a focus on efficiency and EV technology. They have the Mirage, several Kei cars, and a relatively recently refreshed Pajero and Delica.

      Let me ask you this, you’re looking to buy a new home next year. Do you make any major renovations to your current home between now and then? Or do you conserve resources to be invested into your new digs?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Renovations really depend on where you live. In my neighborhood, you won’t sell for your house to anyone but investors unless you have those renovations done. They’ll put cash into the house, flip it, and make money.

        Mitsubishi is that house on the block with overgrown weeds, an old roof, bad windows, and foundation issues. They need to fix that house or no one will buy it.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        All the talk of “Mitsubishi is dying” here wasn’t referring to their global market; it just refers to the US market. Few people here really care about their chances in their home market, which may very well be perfectly viable.

        So if your post was really referring to Mitsu Motor’s global chances, you were referring to an argument few (any?) people here made.

        (But if you were just referring to their global presence, why talk about the Renault-rebadge Galant replacement? Isn’t that a US-only thing, or are they going to try and sell it elsewhere?)

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        DR1665,
        All this talk of Mitsubishi’s “focus on target lineup” is at the heart of why Mitsubishi is dying. What exactly is their “target lineup”?
        a. electric vehicles? I hope not, because the iMiev has been the biggest flop in a miniscule market.
        b. Crossovers? Might be viable, if they had leading product
        c. rich ricer fanboy fantasies? Well, the EVO is a fine vehicle, but long in the tooth, and, again, if this were a large market, then someone besides Subaru and Mitsubishi would enter
        d. terrible old vehicles sold at discount through the low credit channel? Maybe, but I don’t know how you beat Dodge on their home turf at the game they invented.

        Mitsubishi doesn’t have the resources to focus on all 4. Maybe pick one and try to make a go at it.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      The platform is a Renault Nissan platform. There area TONS of cars already running this in the US. Like the Altima?

  • avatar
    Stuck in DC traffic

    The problem with Tesla and EV’s right now is they are a market novelty.

    Tesla has done a great job at making EV’s a mainstream product (arguably better than anyone else including all the major and established automakers), but remember those cars are selling around $100k and lease for $800-$1000 a month. The crossover they announced will sell probably the same as the S or more. They are selling to a well funded client that tends to have tastes that follow fashion trends. I think Tesla has a great corner of the market covered. What I don’t see is that market lasting forever.

    Until someone makes an EV Camry fighter, EV’s will not be mainstream. That automaker will also have to a company that people already buy large quantities from. Mitsubishi is not a brand that people think as mainstream.

    You could say I’m talking about the Leaf, but the price puts it at the costs of nicer cars if you cross shop. I don’t think EV customers cross shop gas cars. But for EV to become mainstream you need to be able to cross shop them to gassers. How about a EV Camry? If Toyota makes the first round like the first Prius, a loss for R&D, they could make the market mainstream.

    How about a EV Evo? .. eVO? Four electric motors, each wheel can turn at different speeds. Could make some interesting handling and power transmission tuning possibles.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Four electric motors, each wheel can turn at different speeds. Could make some interesting handling and power transmission tuning possibles.

      Transmissions aren’t Mitsubishi’s strong suit though, lol. Just ask some people with their products, and some other people with Chrysler products from a certain time span.

      • 0 avatar
        Noble713

        “Transmissions aren’t Mitsubishi’s strong suit though”

        This is news to me. Mitsu’s 5-speed manual is near bullet-proof. The TC-SST, at time of introduction, was probably the best dual-clutch on the market below the GT-R’s. The only tranny with a bad rep is the 6-speed from the Evo IX, which apparently didn’t handle high-horsepower applications particularly well FWIR.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve spoken with a number of people deeply passionate and involved in the EV scene, predominately those who convert their own vehicles. Their Top 3 reasons for switching to EVs? The prestige of being ahead of the curve, of being early adopters, the independence of taking steps to break out of the existing model, and the ecological piece (generally by those who aren’t charging on coal-powered grids).

      Are you really saying that, until someone can build an EV which directly competes with the most popular vehicle sold in America, they will not be mainstream? The Camry all but *defined* the midsize segment in this country. It was an efficient, reliable, affordable sedan which gained market share over time. I’m not going to bother going to Wikipedia to check the details, but I wonder how the first generation Camry compared to the most popular car in America in its first years on the market…

      I see a couple Tesla Model S every day. I easily see a dozen Leafs. Of course, I work less than two miles from a Lamborghini dealership, so it’s a bit of an outlier area, but just as we see computer and phone technology increase given price point year over year, we’re going to see EVs do likewise. Ten years ago, the computer you’re using right now would have probably cost US$10,000 – if it was even possible.

      Vehicles are becoming more computerized and electronic with every iteration,and given how the population increasingly views the automobile as an appliance, is it really such a stretch to see where this is all headed?

      • 0 avatar

        Yah, well, EV are really not even close to cutting edge. People are deeply passionate about the Mona Lisa too. However, as Picasso showed us, there was work to be done. But he did not have all of the answers either.

        Now looking at the real picture:

        History tells us that EV’s were competing with gasoline powered cars when horses were considered real transportation, let alone when cars became fun to drive machines.

        Going EV alome is just negating the possibilities that our technology can reach.

      • 0 avatar
        Stuck in DC traffic

        I too see lots of Tesla’s here where I am stuck in traffic. I think it would be a perfect car for my commute too and would buy one if they where around $25-40K. But I also see in very large numbers commuter alliances. Things like the Accord, Camry,Civic and Corolla.

        I think most of these cars are being purchased based on affordability and perceived value of the dollar. Passion/enthusiast buyers will always be the minority. When EV’s cost less and are competitive in pricing to gassers, they will go mainstream. I think if you have a EV that is priced and sized in the same segment of whatever the most mainstream US car is ….you will have a mainstream EV.

        My phone (GS4) is more powerful than the PC I used 10 years ago. The PC I am using right now cost $10k 4 months ago and is more powerful than a 10 year old super computer while fitting under my desk verses a large server room. Maybe if cars follow that development path in 10 years Mr Fusion will power my hover car.

  • avatar
    92golf

    I would like to read this but after the third line where the quotation marks generate a lengthy amount of Euro and tm garble my eyes started to cross and I had to stop. Browser is Chrome.

    I don’t think it’s on my end because most other articles show up just fine. Is it something in formatting?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I guess that love really is blind, after all.

    Mitsubishi’s US operations produce losses, and the company doesn’t have enough market share in the US to support a viable dealer network or a competitive lineup. Its rivals are much stronger and in a better position to add market share and to take advantage of growth opportunities. These problems should be clear to anyone who analyzes the business.

    This reminds of the “In Defense of Saab” articles that were published here prior to Saab’s collapse. It’s fine to be a fan, but allowing brand loyalty to blind you to the facts doesn’t make for good analysis.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Agreed. VW was hanging by a thread until the New Beetle and B5 Passat came out in the late 90’s. (And, tellingly, while this kept their volume viable, VWoA was still a money-loser until not that long ago.)

      A rebadged Renault is no NB or B5. It would be as if VW hinged the future of it’s US brand on the Routan instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        That’s right. If Mitsubishi is to survive in the US, then it needs a hit product that places the brand in the public eye and generates a profit.

        There seems to be no Beetle or Mustang up its sleeve. The midsize sedan field is too crowded by much stronger rivals, and EVs are neither profitable nor all that popular. The company’s best hope is the Outlander, and there isn’t much hope there.

    • 0 avatar

      Ignorance is truly bliss.

      I’m surprised, in light of your well-spoken comments, you still insist on basing your counterpoint on the *US* market. The crux of my argument, indeed, my *opinion* editorial, is that it is unwise to base such dismissive attitudes on limited information such as a brand’s performance in a single market.

      US operations, market share, dealer operations, product lineup are all but moot, here. My point is that Mitsubishi’s diversity and financial position globally allows them the flexibility to settle into a sort of “power saving” mode while they ramp up development of models which are not yet – but soon will be – in high demand.

      To support this, I mentioned Tesla, who is clearly a threat to the status quo (or they wouldn’t be getting sued left and right), and the Nissan Leaf, which is setting a new bar in terms of EV for the masses. Love it or hate it, it’s getting butts in EV seats and that’s crucial for the industry.

      From there, it’s back to this new merger. Nissan is a major player in the consumer EV market, and wants to be a bigger player. Are they partnering with GM for an EV “with a gas engine to go farther?” No. Are they partnering with Toyota to increase hybrid development? No. They’re partnering with Mitsubishi because they recognize Mitsubishi is on the right track and is going to advance this cause with or without anyone else. Mitsubishi is so focused on this future vision, they’re clearly letting everything else slide a bit.

      We can armchair quarterback the likes of Ghosn, Marchionne, Winterkorn, and Lutz until we’re blue in the face, but in the end, they’re the ones with the most accurate information making the informed plays. Not us.

      As an enthusiast who, over 17 years and easily 400,000 miles of Mitsubishi ownership, hasn’t experienced any of the oft recounted shortcomings of the brand, I’m pleased this new partnership will allow them additional time to execute their vision. Ignoring the majority of the premises of an opinion piece doesn’t make for good analysis, either.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “My point is that Mitsubishis diversity and financial position globally allows them the flexibility to settle into a sort of ‘power saving’ mode while they ramp up development of models which are not yet but soon will be in high demand.”

        Mitsubishi doesn’t have a track record of producing vehicles that are in high demand.

        Over the long run, Mitsubishi is too small to remain independent. Its best bet would be to cultivate a strong niche and stick to it.

  • avatar

    Yes, Stuck (and I hate DC traffic even more than Bostons), I agree with your general comments.

    However, I do not think that any E alone ever has a prayer of ever becoming mainstream. There are just too many good ideas out there waiting to be added to the mix. Basically, speaking about EV alone discredits them. Therefore, there canl never be an EV Camry Fighter, imho. Still, electric motors have a real place is the future of making mainstream cars go.

    As to Mitsubishi… I think back to the mid to late 70’s when they were making inroads in the high-end audio market (another interest of mine) and did quite well for a short time, then floundered. That short inroad spiked my interest in their name, though, and I always wondered why, first, they gave up on audio and, second, why their cars were so feeble if they had that ability in audio (even if it was fleeting),

    As this article points out, they have done many things and sometimes quite well, but they, like Sony, always seemed a little light on the marketing side where companies like GM and others have made their biggest inroads.

    EV Evo? Not going to ever happen, imho. Diesel hybrid with four motors? Now things are getting interesting. But further along., LNG hybrid with the same. Even better, the max imo is a totally carbon neutral methane diesel with our CoilPack4u (providing its fast burn flame front, thus greater efficiency)… Add to this the four motors to control the wheels each individually, as you suggest. This, as you have no doubt conceived, allows the ultimate in dynamic stability… nearly. But moving along, the motors would be inboard mounted to keep the unsprung weight to a minimum and could either hydraulic or electric. But chances are that they would be a combination of both just as our modern automatic transmissions are with their own computer controls that would talk to the cars central ECU.

    The above, though, is just the beginning of my own dream. I have been thinking large horizontal flywheel (nearly the cars width, pan mounted, with an electric generator to pull off power for your house and for the car wherever you need it for forty years now. But now all of the systems are coming together in my head. The gyro effect would of course stabilize the car in turns just as they have done on with motorcycle wheels forever, only far better. The flywheel would store the energy that the car would use on acceleration and minimize the actual engine displacement needed..

    Your car engine, in this system, would never be allowed to heat up to the running temperatures that cars run at today and instead of a passenger heater running off of the engine, you would keep them warm with supplementary heating just as your house does. The operating temps would never go above 120 deg F and you engine would last twenty years as a result. Does it work? Yes, I have witnessed it.

    So now, your car would be so efficient and clean burning that it could actually serve as a generator to power your house. At this point, central electric would become the back-up power source for you house and we would suddenly no longer be burdened by the tremendous line and generation losses that power companies have. I am thinking that the this car would burn about ..05 to .1 gph or 1.2 to 2.4 g/day and fillups would be needed every one or two weeks even with a continuous run, but you would have almost zero electrical bllls and never a power outage. Can it happen? Sure. I have witnessed engines running ta this efficiency and it will become common when we wake up.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I’m at work and have not read much of the article or comments…but I have purchased 2 new RalliArts here in the US and an Adventure diesel in PI…all of them great cars, no problems.

  • avatar
    James2

    What is Mitsubishi Motors’ relationship with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries? I could Wikipedia it, but I’m too lazy :) I imagine Mitsubishi Heavy has the deep pockets necessary.

    Anyway, Mitsubishi needs to make a major commitment –create, if you will, an MQB that will (re)establish the company and back it up with a serious marketing campaign. The platform will need to support a new Galant, a new Lancer, a new Eclipse (yeah, I went there), as well as the two to three crossovers Americans apparently demand every carmaker offer.

    They have to pull a Hyundai and offer a super-mega-ultra warranty (this is the serious campaign bit).

    Then they have to decide on a design language ONCE and for all. Every product cycle they seem to change their style.

    • 0 avatar
      IndianaDriver

      Mitsubishi does offer a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty on power train and 5 year/60,000 miles comprehensive for it’s new vehicles along with 5 year unlimited mileage roadside assistance. On paper – I think it surpasses the Hyundai/Kia warranty offer.

  • avatar
    roar

    Most of you are missing the point. The Galant, Eclipe and several other of the Mitsu cars of the past were a product of the partnership with Chrylser, I am sure that when Chrysler went BK it cost Mitsu a ton of money. Mitsu is going to focus on SUV’s, CUV’s etc and outsource cars to people who already make them. They are building Outlander Sport in Normal ILL today and are planning to increase production at the plant to meet world demand for the product, no more vehicles just for the U.S. So time will tell if they have made a good decision.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Color me unconvinced. Despite that fact that I can’t quite fathom being a fan of Mitsu lets discuss whats REALLY happening with them and cars.

    Basically they don’t care enough to spend the money to compete in the segement. Its not about them weathering any ‘storms’. These guys aren’t Lotus. They do not field a full lineup becuase they don’t want to hire the engineers and spend the money to compete in the car business.

    At the same time partly because they are huge beaurcratic slow moving Japanese multinational they don’t want to cut bait and get out of the car business either. This would actually be the logical step..

    Mitsu needs to wake up and go all in or all out. Why complement this half-assed strategy. THey are not some dying niche brand like Volvo or Jaguar. They are huge mutlinational with their fingers in everything..

    So yes they COULD return..but this is not some awesome super secret strategy. They are just going through the motions right now to please the higher ups. Yes it sounds stupid but if you ever work for some giant corporation you can find yourself working for some department thats half-assing it. They don’t get the funding to compete but the management won’t let you die either.

    The Japanese are far from immune to corporate mismanagement. Blast GM all you like and mock the Chinese. But GM – at least some of the guys really care about making cars. That’s what they do. And they live up to their name making some of the best ICE engines in the world.


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