Tag: Mitsubishi

By on February 6, 2017

The great philosopher Jerry Seinfeld one ridiculed automobile naming conventions, reserving an extra helping of scorn for the long-running Ford LTD.

“Yes, it’s limited to the number we can sell.”

Mitsubishi won’t have to worry about jokes — not that particular joke, anyways — when it trots out the Outlander Sport Limited Edition to its dealer network. The value-packed variant, inserted near the bottom of the trim ladder, is, like the model itself, not long for this world. (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2017

all-new-mitsubishi-suv-to-debut-at-the-2017-geneva-motor-show

A few tech-conscious Americans are still waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for the capable and big-in-Europe Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV — a plug-in crossover introduced in 2014 — to arrive on these fair shores.

Everyone else, however, has had ample time to scratch that compact crossover itch with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Dodge Journey (the midsize priced like a compact), and a host of others. A lesser proportion of buyers opted for the smaller Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (aka RVR in Canada).

Crossovers and SUVs aren’t just big — they’re essential. Without them, automakers are left shaking the money tap to loosen a few extra drops of cash. Well, Mitsubishi doesn’t want to shake the tap anymore. (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT – Image: Mitsubishi“People keep asking if we’re going to go away,” Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Don Swearingen told reporters earlier this month.

“We’re not.”

Seemingly anticipating yesterday’s TTAC QOTD — Does Mitsubishi Need To Exist? — Swearingen was defending Mitsubishi’s approach to the North American market following the automaker’s partial takeover by its Nissan compatriot.

Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn claimed the Mitsubishi chairmanship in October after spending $2.3 billion in exchange for 34 percent of the company’s automobile manufacturing business.

Three months later, The Detroit Bureau reports, Mitsubishi North America’s Swearingen said, “We are separate companies and will remain competitors.” (Read More…)

By on January 18, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors Lancer collage - Images: Mitsubishi

Thinking back to just over a decade ago, Mitsubishi was still in the full-line automaker business. For most needs, there existed an option at your Mitsubishi dealer, which then was a place with functioning lighting and definitely not a former Pizza Hut or Carl’s Jr.

But that’s all changed now, and it has me wondering — is there really a point to Mitsubishi, you know, being a thing?

(Read More…)

By on January 6, 2017

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer SEL - Image: Mitsubishi

Set aside TTAC’s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch for a moment to mourn the passing of a compact car: the Mitsubishi Lancer.

Motor1 reports production of the Lancer will end in August 2017. There will be no replacement.

Mitsubishi vacated the midsize segment four years ago in the service of providing evidence — along with the defunct Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200, and Suzuki Kizashi — to support TTAC’s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch. Mitsubishi’s overall U.S. sales volume hasn’t suffered as a result. 2016 was the brand’s fourth consecutive year of improved sales in America.

With plans to bolster its crossover lineup, it now appears Mitsubishi’s U.S. dealers won’t suffer greatly from the loss of the increasingly low-volume Lancer, either — at least, not relative to the recent past.  (Read More…)

By on December 18, 2016

2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Image: Mitsubishi

After inking the deal that brought Mitsubishi Motors under his corporate umbrella, Nissan-Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn said the acquisition would have a “massive” impact on the struggling automaker.

By sharing the alliance’s technology, platforms and engines, Mitsubishi can look forward to a brighter, product-filled future, he claimed. Full integration is still years away, but a new report sheds some light on the first all-new product born of the $2.29 billion deal. (Read More…)

By on December 9, 2016

Normal, Illinois (Ross Griff/Flickr)

An abandoned assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, could once again become a beehive of car-building activity.

Opened in 1988 as a collaborative effort between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, the plant served as headquarters for a great 1980s corporate relic — Diamond-Star Motors. In its heyday, the facility dutifully cranked out Plymouth Lasers, Mitsubishi Eclipses, and Eagle Talons, before Chrysler lost interest in the 50-50 deal.

Turned over to Mitsubishi in 1995, the plant soldiered on after Diamond-Star Motors bit the dust. What followed was a parade of forgettable nameplates — Mitsubishi Mirage, Eagle Summit, even the Dodge Stratus Coupe — before a final shutdown earlier this year eliminated the last of 1,250 jobs and production of the Outlander Sport.

Now, the 2.4 million square foot plant could soon be home to a shadowy new tenant. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2016

1992 Mazda Cosmo, Image: Mazda

Since the 1980s, draconian federal importation laws have meant enthusiasts in the United States must wait a full 25 years before some of their favorite brand’s models are legal on these shores. And every year, groups of enthusiasts take to the internet to contemplate what cars will be available for importation with the turn of the new year. The arrival of each new calendar year then becomes a celebration of the past, a revisit of forsaken models, a festival of other-market obscurity.

The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming more than just a source for tuners looking for their next drift car. That’s right, Japanese cars are now collectible.
(Read More…)

By on October 20, 2016

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi has officially tied the knot with its savior, making Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn the only automotive executive in the world (and possibly the galaxy) to head three companies.

The $2.29 billion deal gives Ghosn’s Renault-Nissan alliance a 34 percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi — a financial lifeline for the struggling, scandal-plagued automaker. Already, the company’s new chairman (and demoted former chair) have big, big plans for the Mirage maker.

Nissan-sized plans. (Read More…)

By on October 10, 2016

1983 Dodge Ram 50 in Colorado Junkyard, LH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Small pickups sold pretty well in the United States during the Malaise Era, and Ford and GM cashed in by importing and rebadging Mazda and Isuzu trucks, respectively. Chrysler, late to the party, turned to longtime partner Mitsubishi and began bringing in first-generation Forte pickups, starting in the 1979 model year.

Here’s a Dodge-badged version I found last week in a Denver self-service yard. (Read More…)

By on October 9, 2016

1993 Mitsubishi Diamante wagon, Image: © 2015 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

Carlos Ghosn, the synergizing executive that Sergio Marchionne only wishes he could be, isn’t mincing words when it comes to Nissan’s plans for fledgling automaker Mitsubishi.

According to the Renault-Nissan top boss, the deal between Nissan and Mitsubishi is “massive.”

(Read More…)

By on September 14, 2016

Mitsubishi-GT-PHEV-Concept

Mitsubishi Motors has flicked the light switch on a new concept vehicle that hints at its next-generation large SUV.

Unveiled in advance of the Paris Motor Show, the Mitsubishi GT-PHEV Concept’s dimensions and design elements could find their way into the next Outlander, as the automaker seeks a larger stake in the utility vehicle market.

And yikes, what a face. But that isn’t the whole package. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2016

20160905_124117

Sometimes when you hear hoofbeats it really is zebras.

I was in Bowling Green earlier this week, visiting the NCM Motorsports Park and watching Danger Girl grind through a five-day SCCA license school. On the second day of this odyssey, I saw a final-form Saab 9-5 parked up front, all slab-sided purity and mascara-black facial menace. There’s something profoundly depressing for me about those cars; whenever I see them I think of the narrator of Susan Minot’s “Lust” who, in a moment of shellshocked profundity, says, “I could have loved that one.” (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2016

2015 Lancer Evolution Final Edition

The calendar says it’s closer to 2017 than 2015, but last year’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition hasn’t finished bleeding media ink.

The last Evo FE to roll off the assembly line is currently up on eBay, placed there by its parent company. A southern California food bank stands to benefit from the online auction, while a deep-pocketed Evo fanboy will gain untouchable bragging rights. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

U.S. Marines amphibious assault vehicle (U.S. Pacific Command/Flickr)

What a difference seven decades make. In the early 1940s, Mitsubishi Zeroes of the Imperial Japanese Navy tangled with U.S. Grumman Wildcats and Hellcats in the skies over the west Pacific. Now, the aircraft’s builder wants the U.S. Marines to sign up for its amphibious assault vehicle.

Japan is getting into the arms export game after scrapping a law forbidding it, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries now in talks with a U.S. company to partner on the vehicle, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

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