By on March 16, 2015

2012_Mitsubishi_Lancer_SE_sedan_--_02-04-2012_1

Get used to seeing this Mitsubishi Lancer for a long time to come, as the automaker has shelved its updates to its iconic sedan.

According to CarAdvice.com.au, Mitsubishi president and COO Tetsuro Aikawa explained at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show the reasons behind the decision not to update the Lancer or its other sedans:

While I’m the president probably no introduction of the next-generation Lancer… we will continue to sell current Lancer.

There are two reasons for that. One of the reasons is because, concerning the investment on development, we’d like to concentrate on SUV, PHEVs and EVs. That’s one reason.

The second reason is because sedan, in the world, is a very high competition at the moment and it’s very difficult to come up with a profit.

As for the Evo, the badge may be worn by a PHEV SUV with enough firepower to earn the honor to take up where the Lancer Evo will leave off this year.

The decision to freeze sedan development follows a failed attempt to partner with Renault for C- and D-segment vehicles, which Aikawa says was not “a win-win scenario” for either party.

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11 Comments on “Aikawa: Updated Mitsubishi Lancer Shelved For SUVs, Electrification...”


  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “we will continue to sell current Lancer”

    No, sales numbers show you will continue to TRY to sell the Lancer.

    Perhaps a well-done new SUV will give them a boost here, but focusing on PHEV and EVs is going to guarantee niche status in the states.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Mitsubishi cannot make enough PHEV SUVs for the UK market, demand is so high. So I understand their point-of-view. Why bother with things that aren’t selling, when you can just make things that do?

    The US is not the world, despite the comments that completely overlook that most people live outside the USA and actually buy things they happen to find useful.

    Just like Volvo is doing well worldwide. Navel gazers in the US never seem to bother looking up financials, and just assume that what happens in the US is what is happening worldwide.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I don’t know if I’d call the Lancer “iconic.” Perhaps I’d go far as to say the “iconic Evo model was based on the Lancer.”

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    These statements could also be translated as, “We don’t know how to make a good sedan any more, and were last competitive with them in about 1998 with the Galant VR-4. We also don’t have much money to put into cars, because we’d rather make air conditioners.”

    • 0 avatar

      If the company was a bit more honest with itself, it would just announce a withdrawal from the U.S. market and reorient its priorities and core competencies. Which sounds quite like what they’re doing right now. They’re just playing out the string until the number of existing dealerships in the U.S. dwindle to statistically insignificant numbers.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Mitsubishi Motors’ last successful mainstream US sedan platform was the 1999-2003 Galant. It was the basis of the also-successful 3G 2000-2005 Eclipse.

    Both got good reviews and even attracted buyers with decent credit. At one point, Mitsubishi could pull 80-100K units of these two plus another 100K from the SUVs and Lancer.

    Then came the credit collapse, the scams its COO and sales head were pulling. After that, the next-gen PA (“Project America”) — also the basis of the Camcord-beating Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Avenger — was a cynical exercise in cost-cutting and mediocrity.

    With those failures, Mitsubishi is only able to sell CUVs to subprime consumers. The Illinois plant is now at what, 40% capacity?

    Sad because as others correctly point out, Mitsubishi is relatively successful and well-regarded in Asia, Europe and other markets.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    They don’t really need to make major investments in new platforms. They should look at VW’s strategy of making small refinements in the Bug. They could start by reducing the coarseness of their engines. Small functional improvements to address comfort and reliability, and grille and trim changes to differentiate model years, are all they need to do. Building up a large supply of used parts through a long production run should help their reputation for longevity too.

  • avatar

    The 2004 Galant! You know how when you turn your sock inside out, you can still tell it’s your sock, but it also looks fucked up?

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    With the dropping yen and the fact that development and tooling has been amortized, I would cut the Lancer’s price significantly if I were Mitsubishi and just sell it as a reliable and dull car for people who ask for nothing more.

    It works for Nissan and the Sentra.

    And another reason why the Lancer stays in production is they need a sedan in Southeast Asia for taxi usage where the Mitsubishi name is still strong.

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