By on June 27, 2014


Chrysler will re-badge the Mitsubishi Attrage (the sedan version of the much-loved Mitsubishi Mirage) for sale in Asian markets. Sounds crazy, right? Not really.

Chrysler has a history of selling small Mitsubishis under their own brand in North America, but the agreement with Mitsubishi will cover Asia, a region where Chrysler has never been particularly strong. No specific markets or brand decisions were announced for the Thai-built sedan, but we’d like to humbly suggest a name for the new car: the Colt.

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22 Comments on “FCA To Sell Re-Badged Mitsubshi Mirages In Colt Redux...”

  • avatar

    Dodge and the B segment present an interesting pickle. The aggressive, flag-waving lout ethos that Dodge has long pandered to in America wouldn’t appear to ever resign itself to driving anything as pussy as this Mitsu.

    But for any other car company without that segment covered, it would only make sense to *immediately* rebadge these things, give them a little corporate styling language and start ladling them out.

    Clearly, the Dart and the compact segment in general are the rotting albatross around Dodge’s neck. But what can be done given the cultural rut they’ve plowed for themselves?

    • 0 avatar

      Help, no doubt. It is actually why the elimination of Dodge is always on the table. No easy way out is available. I highly doubt that the Dodge brand will be used. If it is though,could signal a longer future for Dodge. The way it is, and with the downward movement of Chrysler I think that name will be used.

      • 0 avatar

        “the elimination of Dodge is always on the table”

        Dodge really seems to be stuck with a demographic that is about as Sergio-resistant as can be. They buy a lot of Chargers but how much future is there in banking on a large RWD design?

        I think the base minivans should be moved over to Ram and the Chargers rebadged as Chrysler something-or-others. Then Dodge could go away.

        • 0 avatar

          That would be my game plan though in lots of world markets Dodge Caravans are sold as Chrysler. There are also those markets where the Journey is sold as a Fiat. I think this all prettu much in a state of permanent flux. FCA should organize this better, but at this moment where every sale counts, Dodge is safe. The Dart and the re designed Charger, less testosterone-laden, is already, I think it’s a way to appeal to a broader audience. Were it not for North America, I think it’d already be gone.

  • avatar

    I thought that the one thing Fiat did well was build inexpensive, small cars. Well, looks like Fiat can’t build a small, inexpensive car as good as the Mitsubishi Mirage, which is almost universally viewed as the worst car on sale in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      In your desire to make a quick, cute and all encompassing statement you missed some pretty obvious points. One of the keys of making small and inexpensive is local production. Being Thailand in ASEAN, FCA pretty much covers this. The Mirage has been well received in Ásia so that puts to rest that kind of worry. Finally, as a strategic move, getting sales is Ásia is one of FCA’s main challenges to remain a global contender.

      • 0 avatar

        This quick and dirty expedient may get some B-class traffic to walk into the doors of Asian FCA dealers, but selling a product where your involvement was limited to picking the name will never make you a global contender.

        • 0 avatar

          Well, the Chrysler group and the Fiat group, back before the economic meltdown, were close to the magic 6 million sales, Marchionne and others point to as the magic number that makes your company a global contender. Their weakness has always been a lack of an Asian presence. Selling a re-badged product from a well-accepted Asian make in Asian markets, sort of slips in your name into those markets and gains mind space. I agree it’s not the best way to do it, but it’s a way. FCA right now how too much on its plate and is using too much money developing the next generation of their cars. I guess they just don’t have the financial capacity to set up shop by themselves.

          This move also brings them closer to an Asian make. You’ll always see FCA happy to deal with Mazda, Suzuki and Mitsubishi as it’s a way to keep corporate ties to Asian makes that FCA has its eyes on.

          • 0 avatar

            I say it is the best way. Sure they could built a plant in Malaysia and start churning Palios out, but the Mirage is a safer bet. One that is cheaper and that will make them a player ready for bigger things in the long run. Also, Mitsubishi is a longtime Chrysler partner that is as of today single and ready to mingle. So, why not? We know the L200 is being considered as basis for Fiat’s old dream of having a proper mid size truck.

            I say go for it, FCA. While at it, go ahead and buy Mazda and Suzuki.

          • 0 avatar

            Yep agree with everything you say. Especially as the Mirage has been well received. Comparing the Mirage (without driving) to the Palio, i’m pretty sure the Palio is better but then we run into the elephant in the room, Sandero. the Sandero drives better than a Micra, has more space than a Palio.

  • avatar

    Can we really rule out this car being sold in America? Mitsubishi has an American plant in Normal, Illinois that makes just one model, the compact Outlander Sport. I believe the midsize Outlander is made in Japan. It’s a big, automated plant, 2.4 million square feet with something like a quarter-million car capacity. Mitsu might want to make better use of that plant than build just the Outlander Sport there.

  • avatar

    I can see it happening.

    As it stands, the Attrage is a much better car than the Mirage. Steadier handling, much, much more interior space (legroom is actually impressive compared to the Korean subcompact twins, though elbow room is still lacking) and better interior materials.

    And it still retains the basic pros of the Mirage: Very rigid and safe chassis, ultra-lightweight construction.

    Make that in America with Chrysler interiors, fix the steering with firmer bushes and a recalibrated rack, add firmer dampers, sacrifice 20 pounds or so by replacing the wretched cable transmission with a linkage… slap a quick and dirty turbo on the motor and you could sell something for sub-Korean money that’s much nicer than a Versa, at least.

    And if it succeeds, hopefully Mitsubishi will license the changes back from Chrysler so we can finally get the Mirage’s ultra-lightweight chassis with a nice car attached to it. :p

    • 0 avatar

      I love it but how do you market this for a company where even the Dart has to be a mean little road-burning assault bucket?

      A littler mean little road-burning assault bucket?

      Call it Chicken Hawk ala Foghorn Leghorn?

    • 0 avatar

      Niki, Kenmore, fact is that if they wanted to, and had the build capacity, they already have a car in their stable, that has more legroom, more elbow room, more headroom, much larger trunk and better handling than the Versa. It’s called the Fiat Grand Siena an serious consideration was given to turining it into a Neon for export to America. Three things stopped that project, the fact the car brings in more money in Latin America, the difficulty of sticking a 2.0 in it and the fact Fiat is already selling everything it produces in Latin America.

      WIth the addition of Fiat and Chrysler, they do have a full line of cars that don’t actually owe anything to the competition in driving dynamics. THe set up the Grand Siena has is very comfortable for city driving and buckles down quickly for the hustle.

      Kenmore, it’s another one that is on my short list. Big windows, too!

      • 0 avatar

        Is the Grand Siena really roomier than the Versa? I mean, it is better in so many ways, but I found the Versa to be a bit bigger inside when on showroom floor.

        What kept me away from the Versa were Nissan’s ReclameAqui records, and the fact that it looks like garbage both inside and out. Cheaper and loaded, though.

        • 0 avatar

          The Grand Siena is tighter than the Versa? Not really. The headdroom in the back kills the Versa. Yes lots of legroom, but what’s the use when you have to be slouched forward to use it. I’m 1.8 and i can sit right in the Siena, but not the Versa. Then there’s the extra elbow room and larger trunk. Plus the better drivability. Neither though are the best. In this category, the cost/benefit of the Logan can’t be touched, and though pricier, the Cobalt offers more than the others.

          • 0 avatar

            Rear legroom is the #1 measurement I look for. I’m 1.93m and there aren’t that many compact cars I can fit a grown up behind the driver’s seat. Maybe that is why I perceived the Versa as a bit roomier.

            But you’re right on the money.

  • avatar

    Chrysler never can seem to get away from Mitsu and their awful cars. Here I thought in 2010+ they were finally done with them. Nope, hop back into that familiar Mitsu bed with a broken leg. It’ll be fine!

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