Mitsubishi Will Add Small Crossover to North America in 2017

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
mitsubishi will add small crossover to north america in 2017

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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6 of 21 comments
  • RideHeight RideHeight on Nov 02, 2015

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

  • PriusV16 PriusV16 on Nov 03, 2015

    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.

    • See 3 previous
    • Kmars2009 Kmars2009 on Nov 03, 2015

      @Luke42 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.

  • Corey Lewis It was long overdue for a replacement or something, but additionally the Compass and Renegade are both so similar there doesn't seem to be a need for such overlap.
  • CoastieLenn Stellantis gonna stellant. Isn't the Compass similarly sized? How is there a hole in the lineup? Seems to me that they had one two many entrants in the compact crossover segment- being the Cherokee and the Compass. The Renegade takes the sub-compact segment, the Grand Cherokee takes the midsize segment (even though it doesn't have third row seating), and the Wagoneer takes the full sized segment. I really want a nice Cherokee Trailhawk V6, but I can never see myself actually buying one because of the litany of documented issues with basically everything in the Dodge/Jeep/Ram inventory. Their current electrical gremlin trajectory rivals that of VW/Audi, but nearly as expensive to repair.
  • MaintenanceCosts Washington Highway 410 over Cayuse and Chinook Passes, in the shadow of Mount Rainier.Grand St. Bernard Pass between Switzerland and Italy, close to the Mont Blanc massif.Colorado 82 over Independence Pass. Highest I've ever been in a car.Skyline Drive in Virginia.California Highway 1 from Monterey to Santa Barbara.A million little unnumbered roads in the German Black Forest, more satisfying at 100 km/h than the Autobahn is at 250.
  • Kendahl US 60 between Show Low and Globe, Arizona. It's especially fun in the switchbacks on both sides of the Salt River canyon.
  • Arthur Dailey What give with this site? I know that I posted a comment. The site says that there are 12 comments. But when I click on the 'see more' button it resets to say that there are 11 comments and I can't see mine. I am not that egotistical as to believe that my comments are important. But that makes me wonder if others are also having their comments 'erased'.