Mitsubishi To Launch Mirage In USA But Not India

Faisal Ali Khan
by Faisal Ali Khan
mitsubishi to launch mirage in usa but not india

Mitsubishi showcased the Mirage hatchback at the 2013 New York Auto Show. The Japanese car maker will put the vehicle on sale in America, but not India – a more natural market for a subcompact hatchback.

The Mirage is powered by a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder gasoline engine which produces 74 HP and 100 Nm, mated to a 5-speed manual or CVT transmission. The 5-door hatchback uses re-enforced impact safety evolution body structure and comes with a host of features including 7 airbags, traction control, active stability control and a 140-watt sound system.

People in the USA don’t like to buy hatchbacks while it’s the exact opposite in India. In the Indian market, more than 70 percent cars sold are small cars. However Mitsubishi doesn’t sell the Mirage hatchback in India, where it sells only SUVs like the Pajero, Montero and Outlander. The company is struggling in India and it is surprising to see them not offer volume products in the Indian market, even after knowing there is demand for it. Do you think Mitsubishi has messed up its product planning in the past few years?

Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.a

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  • Niky Niky on Apr 12, 2013

    Are Mirage sales really that woeful? They've been doing near a thousand a month down here (or over), and that's completely supply limited, because the waiting list is months long. Australian sales seem positive, given the size of the release, as are UK sales. This car is not pretty, but it's cheap, has a roomy interior and gets great economy. A few cosmetic fixes to the face will really freshen it up enough to pass muster here. I wouldn't read too much into Indonesian sales... that thar' is pick-up country. The Mirage MUST go to India. This is one of its biggest markets. While they won't be able to compete on price with Indian-made Marutis or Hyundais, opening up local production or a partnership would fix that. Even in a weak market, market share is market share. Jumping into a slumping market to take market share away from your competitors would be much to your advantage when (if) the market recovers.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 12, 2013

    I don't have any problems with this car, but after owning a 1985 Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup years ago the parts were very expensive and hard to get and that was when my truck was only a couple of years old. Good truck but most parts had to be ordered thru Mitsubishi even when I ordered them thru a Dodge dealer (the Dodge D-50 was the twin of the Max). Maybe if the price were not too high and you did not keep it for more than a few years you might be ok but when you get into fuel pumps, starters, alternators, catalytic converters then you might have some problems with parts which were the ones that I had problems getting with the Max. Maybe that has changed but you do not see as many Mitsubishi dealers as you did several years ago and Chrysler no longer sells rebadged Mitsubishis. Otherwise it was a good truck that I drove for over 14 years with about 200k miles on the odometer.

  • Angrystan Angrystan on Apr 12, 2013

    The Mirage is not intended to be an exciting car for dynamic people. It's a transit appliance with push-button start, power windows, reasonable comfort for four adults and outstanding fuel economy. The only direct competition is the Spark, perhaps Smart Fortwo if they don't pull out. If the rule about UK to US price translation holds, this car will retail close to $12000. On price the list expands to Fiesta and Versa if you can find a base model of either. Yes, it's a first-time buyer car. Yes, it's a car which will sell in the middling four digits. Yes, your boring uncle and mechanics will drive these. Yes, it's terrible for your image. You would never pull up to the club in one. Nonetheless, it is distinctive in North America. If it's reasonably comfortable and has a Monroney number close to 50 hwy, it will be Mitsu's top seller the year it is released. With Mitsu's modest dealer map, the Mirage will surely make money for each dealer moving a number of cars that will not shake the business pages. No one makes a truly cheap, simple motor. This is the only game in town if the price is right. Look at the Spark. Just look at it. It's trying so hard to be something. The Mirage isn't trying. It simply is. If the floor can be made truly flat with the seat folded or replaced with an aftermarket part, Mitsu has just introduced the replacement for the small delivery or parts runner Ranger. It won't provide an avalanche of sales company wide, but it will sell to people who use their cars for transportation. I'm going to be shopping for my next transit appliance around 2016 or so, and Mirage is presently on the top of my list.

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    • Angrystan Angrystan on Apr 12, 2013

      @Faisal Ali Khan Blandness isn't a bug, it's a feature. Unlike its size competition in North America, Mirage doesn't look like an aftermarket stereo or clothes from a store with "Dollar" in the name. The absence of style does not include blatantly insincere exclamation points. The styling that somehow does not manage to keep grown ups out of this end of the market is not in this car. Everyone over 40 who bought a Soul, xB or similar despite the style now has a car made for them. It's just a little, presumably practical car. Unless it's a maintenance nightmare, rusts in the morning mist, has a Monroney number closer to 30, and if they can get the word out to the masses Mitsu shall have a modest hit on their lots.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 14, 2013

    @angrystan--I agree with your assessment about this car. It is about as basic transportation as you can get with added electric windows and doors. There is a demand for a car like this. Granted for those who have their identity wrapped up in their car or maybe if they are in sales and taking clients out in their car this would not be the car for them. I myself usually take the bus to work and park my vehicle at the park and ride. I have not had too many people ask me what I drive and for the most part who really cares. If the vehicle is safe, reliable, and economical and I am using it to commute and run errands then what difference does it make. Mitsubishi has nothing to lose with this car and everything to gain. This is an underserved market which needs to be exploited. Even with my experience with Mitsubishi parts I would be interested in one of these, I just would probably not keep it for 10 years, maybe 5 years. There is a market for a disposable car that you can get reliable service for a few years and then you replace it. The looks are not that bad, maybe a little boring but the same could be said for the Toyota Corolla and look how many of those are sold. There is nothing wrong with an appliance like econobox that is affordably priced.

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