By on November 2, 2015


Speaking to Automotive News, Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko said that the automaker would add a small crossover to its North American lineup, between Outlander Sport and Outlander, to compete in the growing small crossover segment.

Masuko said the car would take styling cues from the company’s Tokyo Motor Show eX Concept, but it’s unclear how much of the concept’s electric powertrain will live into production.

Next year, Mitsubishi will sell a plug-in hybrid variant of the Outlander in the U.S.

Selling a low-cost crossover in a best-selling segment could bolster Mitsubishi’s flagging position in the U.S. The company currently markets only five models in the U.S. — Outlander, Outlander Sport, Lancer, i-MiEV and Mirage — with a hole in the small crossover segment and no real worldwide product to fill it quickly.

Mitsubishi announced this year that it would close its Normal, Illinois plant that produced the Outlander Sport this month due to high costs of production and dwindling US sales. The company is on track to post a double-digit sales growth, year-over-year, but is searching for a mid-size sedan and small crossover to fill gaps in its U.S. lineup.

“The Outlander is growing in size, while the Outlander Sport is getting smaller, so it opens a space for the new SUV,” Masuko told Automotive News. “We need something to fit in between.”

There isn’t much in the Mitsubishi global pipeline to immediately plug the holes that exist in European and U.S. markets. The new crossover would likely be all new for the automaker, unless the automaker can quickly partner with another automaker. Earlier this year, negotiations between Mitsubishi and Nissan-Renault to sell a rebadged midsize sedan in the U.S. broke down.

Sales of small SUVs grew by more than 18 percent from 2013 to last year, according to GoodCarBadCar.

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21 Comments on “Mitsubishi Will Add Small Crossover to North America in 2017...”

  • avatar

    Mr. Chartreuse Cat is not amused at being photographed.

  • avatar

    Well, there goes the Mitsubishi Deathwatch series. If only Mitsu had a senile old founder in charge, like Suzuki, instead of a cash rich mega-conglomerate backing it. The search is on for the next candidate to bail out of the US market.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m almost ready to agree with you – to my surprise, because I thought they were goners in the US. They may still be.

      If they clean up the styling and offer a decent hybrid version of this car, they might have something.

      • 0 avatar

        Nope, they’re a global company that makes most of their cars for other markets, as well as Japan. Being in the US market has a cache elsewhere that’s worth the limited sales in North America. A mega-conglomerate can’t leave out a whole continent!

    • 0 avatar

      Suzuki actually does quite well in the SE and South Asia markets (which is why VW was interested)- but vehicles for those markets don’t coincide well with the NA market.

  • avatar

    “Mitsubishi Will Add Small Crossover to North America in 2017”


  • avatar

    It’s kind of Transformer-ish looking with the Camaro beltline and the Toyota/Lexus angular front. I suspect the male K thru 3rd grade age bracket will clamor for mom to get one.

  • avatar

    Screw Mitsubishi, their engineers, their designers, their executives. Every car they ever made was a despicable piece of crap. I hope this car fails.

  • avatar

    One more outre styling example brought to you by the high radiation levels in Japan following the Fukushima meltdown.

  • avatar

    Ummmm…like I said previously in the Mirage article….They’re not going away, but expanding. (Told ya so!)
    It’s not ROCKET SURGERY!

    Do a little research, and the knowledge is there for everyone to share, and love.

  • avatar

    My self-liberating discovery that concept cars are scarey monsters on purpose let’s me greet excrescences like this with an indulgent chuckle.

  • avatar

    Geez, wasn’t TTAC the website that called its readers and forum posters the “Best & Brightest”…..?

    Mitsubishi makes no-nonsense, practical, everyday cars just like Ford, GM and other mass manufacturers. Their line-up may be lacking, but the cars they do sell are usually liked by their customers. Plus, you can usually get their models at very fair prices.

    As for this concept, it doesn’t look any more or any less outlandish than a perceived three dozen other SUV models out there.

    I’m not a Mitsu customer or employee, but cut the troll crap out when it comes to Mitsubishi. They are a perfectly respectable car company with engineers who know what they’re doing.

    • 0 avatar

      My friend’s Dodge Caliber (the most recent Mitsubishi I’ve gotten a good look at) suggests that their cars are lackluster.

      I love basic competence more than most people, but the US car market is such that “delight” is required to sell new cars. If I just want competence, I’ll keep my pair of 11 year old Toyotas or just buy used.

      If you want to talk people like me out of the perfectly competent beater in my driveway, it’s going to take more than just newness.

      • 0 avatar

        “to talk people like me out of the perfectly competent beater”

        95% of new car buyers aren’t like you, Luke. You are knowledgeable, rational and methodical about assessing a car’s competence. You know the systems most likely to cause an accident or ass-stranding (always in de ghetto or banjo land!) should they degrade with age and you preempt that.

        The rest of us who’ve come up through a gauntlet of treacherous trash have been behaviorally modified to equate newer with safer through a series of past disasters varying from immense and expensive inconvenience to actually life threatening, possibly with severe injury.

        New is better because it’s less risky. That’s a huge thing to us dummies. If somehow we can afford to, we’re buying new. “Just newness” is like saying “just cancer free”.

      • 0 avatar

        Dodge Caliber may have Mitsubishi platform origins…Much like the Charger has Diamler platform origins…but Chrysler has a way of cost cutting, and cheapening, with their own special majic. In the end, the resulting product is crap.
        I hope Fiat is changing things…but somehow, I doubt it.

    • 0 avatar

      “but the cars they do sell are usually liked by their customers”

      I’m glad the people who choose to buy a car like said car before they buy it. It’s unfortunate when I see people buying cars they hate.

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