By on July 27, 2020

Strapped for cash, Mitsubishi has placed another legend on the chopping block. While the Pajero is famous globally for its stellar performance at the Dakar Rally, giving Mitsubishi more wins at the event than any other brand in history, you probably knew it as the Montero (or Dodge Raider if you’re old enough).

Sadly, you won’t be knowing it as anything but a memory soon  even if you live somewhere with a source of fresh examples. Having forecast another year of losses, Mitsubishi decided it need to continue tightening its belt. The Pajero will be taken out of production while the brand focuses on business in Asia.

Even die-hard Mitsubishi fans waiting for a return to form have largely given up at this point.

The days of the brand offering purposeful machines that could compete with fancier rivals at a substantially lower price are gone and the company seems to have no interest in reviving anything with VR-4 at the end if its name  be it the once-common Galant or more-ludicrous 3000GT.  We’d ask what happened to the formerly mighty brand, but it’s not like there is some big secret. We have watched the saga unfold for decades, with 2020 being the latest chapter in this tragic tale.

Following some already tough times, Mitsubishi Motors posted a loss of about 176 billion yen ($1.7 billion USD) in the April-June quarter and predicted more trouble on the way. According to Reuters, the brand recently said it anticipates an operating loss of 140 billion yen ($1.33 billion) for the year ending March 2021  citing cooling regional markets and the pandemic as major contributors. Meanwhile, 2020’s year-end losses could be as high as 220 billion yen ($2.1 billion).

From Reuters:

The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated struggles at the company that had already been battling falling sales in China and southeast Asia, its largest market which accounts for a quarter of its sales.

As part of its restructuring plan, Mitsubishi, a junior member of the Nissan-Renault automaking group, said it would stop making the Pajero SUV crossover model next year, and close the plant in Japan which makes the vehicle.

The maker of the Outlander SUV said it would reduce its presence in Europe and North America and focus on growing in Asia.

Restructuring efforts will progress with the brand downsizing wherever possible and sharing responsibilities with Nissan/Renault. Mitsubishi hopes to reduced fixed costs by 20 percent over the next few years and pull out of any region where business is failing. That said, the planned cost-cutting strategy won’t be sufficient to offset existing losses.

Mitsubishi’s chief executive told reporters that the severity of the matter should not be downplayed and to expect additional measures. “To pave the way to recovery, the top priority of all executives is to share a sense of crisis with employees to execute cost reductions,” CEO Takeo Kato said.

[Image: Rodrigo Garrido/Shutterstock]

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8 Comments on “Mitsubishi Discontinues Pajero SUV Globally, Restructuring Continues...”

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    These things were ubiquitous in pretty much every $#!+hole I ever spent any time in. Crazy to think this is the fat that needed trimming in their global lineup.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Pajero has name recognition and credibility as a rugged 4×4. The rest of their lineup is crossovers. Shame to see Mitsu leaving their off road heritage behind.

      • 0 avatar

        This is the result of the “alliance” with Renault and Nissan, with Nissan also in trouble. George Washington left office warning about entangling alliances. Who knew he was also talking about international business arrangements?

    • 0 avatar

      100% agree. It was the case that at a lot of US Embassies in Africa, there was at least a few Pajeros in the fleet along with being driven by staff (several of my colleagues had them.) They went everywhere, were easy to fix, reliable, and looked good. A less expensive Land Rover like vehicle that was far more reliable.

      It’s sad to see what has become of Mitsubishi – it’s been a long, hard fall form the days of the Galant VR-4, 3000GT, Eclipse, and Evo. It’s a brand without focus, an identity, or what looks like a long-term future in a lot of markets.

  • avatar

    And that was the only thing they were doing right.

  • avatar

    Sad to hear. I had one when I lived in the Middle East. My favorite feature was the dual gas tanks. These were super popular as they were much more affordable than a Land Cruiser.

  • avatar

    Seems they tried to make the Acadia a more direct competitor for the Grand Cherokee, but with three rows of seats (albeit a really small 3rd). Interesting that they would abandon the space given that the next Grand Cherokee will debut three rows of seats in that vehicle too.

  • avatar

    For the USA, Mitsu only has one compact and two SUVs. Mazda isn’t too far behind with two sedans, two SUVs and one sports car. Time to hang it up like Suzuki or Daihatsu did for North America and focus on Asia.

    Both have been squeezed out by the Koreans.

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