More Dealers, Lease Products Coming to Mitsubishi, but No Pickups Just Yet

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
more dealers lease products coming to mitsubishi but no pickups just yet

Now part of an alliance with cash and platforms to toss around, Mitsubishi’s growing bolder in its quest to remind buyers that it’s not about to disappear from the American automotive landscape. Buyers, of course, are already helping the brand regain its footing. February’s U.S. sales were the highest since the heady and ominous year of 2007 (up 18.8 percent, year over year).

Through the end of February, U.S. sales are up 23.4 percent over the same period in 2017.

Having crawled out of the five-figure sales number nightmare that plagued the brand over the past decade, Mitsubishi dealers met in Las Vegas recently to discuss the near future. Some requests were granted, but a long-standing demand went unfulfilled.

The good news for dealers is that those that already exist are performing better than in recent years. Speaking at the National Automobile Dealers Association meetup, soon-to-retire North American COO Don Swearingen said the number of dealers selling less than 10 vehicle per month now stands at the lowest point in 10 years. Dealer profitability has also reached the highest point in that time frame, he added.

To move more cars off lots, new lots are coming — 20 to 30 in the coming year. The brand also plans to satisfy the 30-plus percent of Americans who prefer leasing, dealers told Automotive News. A lack of lease products was apparently one of the dealer network’s biggest gripes; to correct this, Mitsubishi plant to work with financial partner Ally Financial to rustle up some competitive deals.

For added visibility, the brand’s ad budget will rise to its highest level since 2007 this year. If you’re like this author, you’ve grown annoyed with the number of Eclipse Cross commercials airing on network TV, but don’t expect those to go away anytime soon. The Eclipse Cross compact crossover is basically it for new product, at least until the brand works out a platform-sharing plan with its alliance partners. Expect the marriage to bear kids in the coming decade.

What dealers want to see, however, is not another CUV (even though it would almost certainly boost volume), but a pickup. Ever since the slow-selling, Dodge-Dakota-based Raider disappeared in 2009, the brand hasn’t fielded a pickup truck in the U.S. market. Overseas, Mitsu is well-known for its L200 and Triton midsize trucks.

Clearly, dealers expect great things from

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  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Apr 03, 2018

    Mitsubishi L200 is well regarded as a workhorse in Europe. However possibly a little small for US tastes. Strangely, Fiat - despite owning RAM and Jeep - sell a rebadged L200 as their European market pickup.

  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Apr 03, 2018

    I made a lot of money 15+ years ago chasing Mitsu buyers who defaulted on their loans...I did door-knock collections and really enjoyed it. I simply wouldn't/couldn't see myself in anything they build. I really associate this brand with low-credit-score buyers and don't want to be associated with them. They're even worse than Nissan in that regard. I will be curious to see what kind of lease deals they are able to cobble together with Ally Fin'l. I have to imagine that residuals are terrible.

  • Arthur Dailey Confession here. 2 of the previous generation Rogues in our family over the past 5 years. Saw some cost cutting between the 1st and the 2nd one. On the 'new' one there are no cubbies on the back of the front seats, the ignition is not lit, and there is a marked difference in the front seats. The first Rogue has the most comfortable seats I have experienced since the heyday of the PLCs. Despite sciatica could drive that Rogue for hours with no issues. The seats on the 2nd Rogue create discomfort after 30 minutes. And everyone in the family has noticed this.The first Rogue drove seamlessly. Quiet and comfortable on the highway. On both we have averaged just over 29 mpg. The 2nd Rogue needs to be warmed up and driven slowly if left out overnight in minus 30 (f) or -0 (c) weather, otherwise the engine just revs and the speed does not seem to increase. The dealer has been asked to look at this multiple times but each time they claim that there is no issue. It also has the worst Bluetooth interface I have experienced. Otherwise, based on size, cost, the Rogues were chosen over Toyota/Honda. Both were/are leased so not concerned about long term values/reliability. And the 'new' Rogue came standard with heated seats and blind spot warning, which the Toyota/Honda did not without going up a couple of packages.However we should have bought out the first Rogue when the lease ended. During the height of the pandemic, it could have easily been flipped for close to double the buyout cost.
  • AKHusky L2 charger at home. My wife’s workplace has a couple of chargers and she is able to use one about half the time. Our town also has a number of free chargers and I use those occasionally if I’m going to be parked in that vicinity for at least an hour anyway.
  • Jkross22 That's a great looking shifter. Reminds me of the old school late 70s BMW manual - BTW TTAC, that would be a cool article to run - Best looking shifters in the last 30 years. My vote:Audi gated shifter from the R8. Should've offered that on every RS model and let people special order.
  • Ajla Maybe they should not have released several special edition Broncos when they couldn't even get regular trim orders out within a year?I'm not sure who is in charge of Ford's production but they deserve to be very fired.
  • ToolGuy "Removing them saved 16 pounds, according to Dodge. Snazzy optional two-piece lightweight carbon fiber wheels are also part of an overall SlimFast program shedding 157 pounds compared to a Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody."From a different writeup: "The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 shaves weight with the addition of lightweight front brakes, hollow sway bars, passenger and rear seat delete, trunk trim, noise, vibration, harshness pad delete, and lightweight interior carpet with a minimal audio system."• Did Dodge consider any lightweighting efforts with the lead-acid starter battery? Because Group 94 LiFePO4 saves 35 pounds of mass vs. standard lead-acid.(If Dodge already did this, Old Guy apologizes for being mired in the past and slinks back to his cave.)