Mitsubishi Discontinues Pajero SUV Globally, Restructuring Continues

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mitsubishi discontinues pajero suv globally restructuring continues

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Jul 27, 2020

    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.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Jul 28, 2020

    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.

  • MrIcky I like the 78 concept. I like the safari type top on the purple one but I don't like that color, I want to like the warth...scrambler concept but it doesn't quite do it for me. I'd like to try the magneto.
  • Tassos GM, especially under the sorry reign of socially promoted nobody Mary Barra (who would not have a chance in hell being appointed the CEO if she was a MALE) has done far dumber and sillier things than that, wasting BILLIONS on 'cruise' and expecting it to make it $50 billion, remember? THey do not mention the name much these days, the clowns at GM, do they?
  • MaintenanceCosts I notice that the pictures don't show the dash or the door cards, two places where you'd be most likely to notice interior disintegration on a VW of this vintage.Looks nice on the outside but I wouldn't touch it.
  • SilverHawk At least in the short term, this is simply going to cause more anxiety among the more technology shy consumers looking to buy a new vehicle. Especially when this is not being done for the benefit of the vehicle owner, but for the convenience of GM's marketing department. Personal data security is an extremely important issue in today's world.
  • Ajla I don't think I'd be able to part with something I kept for 23 years. Especially as the only owner.