Mitsubishi Puts Europe on Ice

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mitsubishi puts europe on ice

Living in Europe and eager for the next generation of Mitsubishi products? You might end up waiting forever.

As part of a crash cost-cutting exercise designed to stabilize the storm-rocked company, the Japanese automaker has decided to reduce investment in under-performing markets while chopping fixed costs by one-fifth over the next two years.

In Europe, the brand could soon become a ghost. Mitsubishi has hit the stop button on any new product headed in that direction.

Per a brief Monday release, the automaker announced that its board of directors “resolved to freeze the introduction of new models to the European market.”

Sales of existing models, plus after-sales and servicing activities, will continue in the market. If this sounds like the brand’s last gasp in the market, you’re not alone in thinking that. Autocar points out that Mitsubishi’s market share in Europe stands at 1 percent, which is actually a tenth of a point more than in North America.

Once current Mitsu products find themselves out of sync with stringent EU emissions standards, expect a full pull-out, the publication warns.

As you read yesterday, Mitsubishi’s dismal earnings have prompted a new approach. Essentially, Mitsubishi plans to focus on what sells, and where it sells best. The overseas Pajero SUV is doomed to die, with its Japanese assembly plant bound for mothballs. As it embarks on a three-year plan dubbed “Small but Beautiful,” the brand plans to focus its efforts mainly on Southeast Asia, where the automaker’s market share tops 6 percent. The automaker says it has 11 percent in its sights.

Mitsubishi rolled out a raft of refreshed products for the North American market last week, but earlier pronouncements, coupled with the past day’s events, seems to indicate that these models will be America’s last.

Like Europe, there’s no mention of North America in the Small but Beautiful write-up; instead, Oceania, Africa, and South America are seen as second-tier markets primed for growth. Small, eco-friendly models will tempt buyers in those regions. Southeast Asia will see a new SUV, pickup, and MPV.

[Image: Mitsubishi Motors]

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