After 28 Years, Mitsubishi Ends Aussie Production
The Age reports that the last of the great V8 Interceptors… Hold on, that's not it. Right. The last Australian-built Mitsubishi will roll off the line at Tonsley Park this Thursday, ending 28 years of production Down Under. Since it took over a Chrysler plant in 1980, Mitsu has built over a million cars in Australia. Production peaked back in 1997, when the Japanese automaker built 58,391 Magna sedans for domestic and export markets. Mitsubishi imports have seen strong demand, but the domestically-built 380 sedan will soon be sleeping with the fishes. Although Mitsu's laying off a thousand workers, it's not a post-apocalyptic scenario. They're receiving what's being called "the best-ever redundancy package in the automotive industry:" up to two years of severance pay.
In the US, 4 cylinder engines are the midsized sedan's bread and butter, with V6s being typically 20% of sales or so. Not offering one for the 380 was probably a very large mistake.
This is a true case of mistaken self-identity. The rear of the car was nice, the front was lost, ie: Edsel. If the front was aggressive, ie: evo style it wouldve sold. But what the heck does '380' stand for? My take: It shuldve had a nicer, smoother aggressive nose. It shouldve been AWD. It shouldve been called 260 (2.6 V6 or whatever size it is), and 380 for the 3.8. And maybe a 430 for the V8 (no offense Ferrari). Then it wouldve sold. Why do all these manufacturers build a Front drive V6, and then say how they are going to take sales off Ford and Holden's big cars which are V6 or V8 and REAR drive. Aussies like to tow their boats and caravans with their cars, and small front drive V6's dont cut the mustard. Ditto to Toyota with it's Camry based Aurion - It aint gonna WORK! it's not a rear drive platform that aussies like, and YOU (Toyota and Mitsubishi) Aint gonna fool the public. Just my take
JeffDOZ, Mitsubishi already tried the AWD Magna and it failed. Redesigning the Galant for AWD would have been prohibitively expensive. Apart from adding weight, cost, and increasing fuel consumption, the majority of drivers would never notice the difference. The Australian market has declared large sedans must have rear wheel drive. However the vast bulk of Commodores and Falcons are sold to fleet buyers. Did you only 15% of Commodores are sold to private buyers, according to smh.com.au? I know many people with rear wheel drive V6 sedans and only a small handful even have tow bars, negating the argument that people buy RWD because they tow. Not sure how a 380 counts as a "small" V6 car either. Ford/Holden fought to get the Toyota Aurion reclassified as a 'medium-large' car so it couldn't officially compete in their market segment. Fortunately they failed as it was plainly obvious a few centimetres in length hardly makes a world of difference. I personally liked the 380's front and didn't find the rear appealing. The old style misted rear lights looked out of place when compared to clear, crisp, bright tail lights. The VRX model had comical thin vertical strip indicators that didn't match the stop lights.
The 380 VR-X is directly equivalent to the 2004-2006 Galant GTS in the US. Same rear lights. It had different wheels and a slightly different body kit, to go along with the different front bumper/headlamp treatment.