By on July 29, 2016

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Image: Mitsubishi

The long-anticipated Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid, expected later this year, has once again been postponed for the U.S. and Canada.

This is at least the fifth time it’s been delayed in North America since its 2013 Japan-market launch. Mitsubishi’s U.S. market public relations manager, Alex Fedorak, confirmed the latest delay.

“Following a thorough evaluation process, we have determined that, in order to meet a level of competitiveness that will exceed customer expectations in the United States, the launch of the Outlander PHEV will be delayed until the summer of 2017,” said Fedorak.

Mitsubishi Canada’s public relations manager, John R. Arnone, also confirmed the delay. He said generally Mitsubishi Motors of Canada does get vehicles around the same time as Mitsubishi Motors North America, but declined to state a timeframe.

The all-wheel-drive SUV has been the best-selling PHEV in Europe, and would have filled a price-for-performance niche in the U.S. and Canada.

A Japan-market fuel economy cheating scandal have plagued Mitsubishi since earlier this year, which plummeted its first-quarter operating profits 75 percent.

The automaker is already in a weakened market position in the U.S., while in Europe, the Outlander PHEV’s sales slipped to third place during the first half of 2016.

In Japan, the scandal has decimated Outlander PHEV sales from a consistent level of around 1,000 units per month to one-quarter that over the past three months. After reporting 955 Outlander PHEV sales in March, Mitsubishi Japan reported 250 sales in April, 174 in May, and 253 in June.

At present, Mitsubishi is in the process of allying with Nissan. This tie-up is expected to finalize in October and will begin a new chapter for the beleaguered automaker, which still has plans for more electrification.

The Outlander PHEV was fully revised for 2016 and its 12-kWh battery promised enough usable range, combined with all-wheel-drive SUV performance, to fill a niche no other automaker has yet to serve at the same price point.

The crossover is sold in at least 48 global markets, but Mitsubishi has bypassed North America despite consumer demand and as upscale Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, and Volvo XC90 plug-in SUV variants have come to market.

In all, just 13 plug-in hybrids — mostly front-wheel-drive cars — are now on sale in the U.S.

Arnone said when the Outlander PHEV does arrive, it will be the best vehicle it can be in this segment, and indeed its standing as one of the world’s best-selling plug-in electrified vehicles lends credence to that statement.

[Image: Mitsubishi]

This article originally appeared on Hybrid Cars.

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15 Comments on “2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Again Postponed, Won’t Arrive Until Next Summer...”

  • avatar

    “…in order to meet a level of competitiveness that will exceed customer expectations…”

    Can it park outside a Check In 2 Cash?
    Can it also park outside a K-Mart?

    Job done.

  • avatar

    “Arnone said when the Outlander PHEV does arrive, it will be the best vehicle it can be in this segment”

    We’ll make sure it gets a participation trophy.

  • avatar

    They sell a ton of these in Europe. I assume some of the delay is low fuel costs here in the US. But even with that I would think Mitsu having the first entry into a class would have been a good thing for them. I wonder what kind of problems it had.

    • 0 avatar

      1. Battery fire led to recall.
      2. CA regs required addition of battery degradation monitoring system, since degradation can cause higher than claimed consumption and emissions.
      3. Battery supply shortages.

      Mitsubishi buys batteries from the same Japanese company that makes them for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

  • avatar

    Next summer it will be available, wiat for it, wait for it,

    Next summer again.

    Next summer never comes.

  • avatar

    Anyone know what prevents Mitsubishi from selling its vehicles in North America, besides emissions standards, considering that the company appears to sell lots of vehicles elsewhere like in Europe and in Asia?

    • 0 avatar

      1) Their lack of dealers.
      2) Their lack of (willingness to spend money on) competitive product in the US.
      3) Their lack of brand prestige due to DSM era.

  • avatar

    Now a perennial feature at the NY Auto Show.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I’m going to file this in my “who gives a damn file”. Thanks.

  • avatar

    OK which does the B&B pick for the first to make US retail delivery:

    Mitsu PHEV
    Tesla 3

  • avatar

    I would say Tesla 3. I would go to Mitsu dealership only if I had concealed weapos with me. Last few times I have been in Mitsu dealership it felt like visiting drug dealer (as shown in movies). And sales “specialists” were hiding somewhere and ones who eventually showed up alive did not look credible enough to do business with.

    • 0 avatar

      Damn, ILO! In what urban area to you live, or rather, in what urban area is said “scary” dealership? Could you live-stream your next visit, if you dare, in order to give us a real feel for it? Come to think of it, doing that might be a new “first” for TTAC.

      • 0 avatar

        It was in San Leandro, San Francisco bay area. I do not live there but thats where Mitsu dealership was. I actually do not remember why in the world we ended up there but we were looking for affordable car for my son. Chrysler dealership was not much better. Actually it was better at least living and breathing sale people greeted us. Eventually we decided that it is better to buy used good car than new piece of a junk and we bought low mileage Ford Focus at Hertz car sales in Hayward. It had 2.3L I4 engine and was pretty fast and handled well. BTW my son refused to even try Corolla (which I thought would be the most reliable car) considering offering it to him as an insult.

  • avatar

    It’s what BTSR kept telling Chevy it should make: a bigger Volt.

    Sort of. Top Gear and a few others have reviewed the Mitsu. Compared to the current Volt, the Mitsu’s gas engine is loud and coarse, its ride is trucklike, and its electric range is considerably shorter. But its passive safety ratings are good and its active safety options are comparable to the Volt’s, and its price should be competitive.

    The pitch is appealing: get to work without using any gas, get 40 mpg on road trips, and have enough room to bring Sage and Moxie along on your Costco runs…and don’t spend Volvo XC90 PHEV or BMW X5 PHEV money for the privilege.

    I don’t think it’ll sell as well in the US as it does in Europe, where tradition and tax law mean your company is paying the steepish purchase price of the car itself, and your personal cost consists of high-priced gasoline and tax liability based on the car’s environmental impact. There, people look at this car and see thousands of extra pounds or euros in their wallet each year. Here, we’ll likely look at it and say “so I can have the refinement of a truck and the price and specs of a first-year Volt? Meh.” But we’ll see. It will be in a class of one.

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