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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  • FreedMike This article fails to mention that Toyota is also investing heavily in solid state battery tech - which would solve a lot of inherent EV problems - and plans to deploy it soon. course, Toyota being Toyota, it will use the tech in hybrids first, which is smart - that will give them the chance to iron out the wrinkles, so to speak. But having said that, I’m with Toyota here - I’m not sold on an all EV future happening anytime soon. But clearly the market share for these vehicles has nowhere to go but up; how far up depends mainly on charging availability. And whether Toyota’s competitors are all in is debatable. Plenty of bet-hedging is going on among makers in the North American market.
  • Jeff S I am not against EVs but I completely understand Toyota's position. As for Greenpeace putting Toyota at the bottom of their environmental list is more drama. A good hybrid uses less gas, is cleaner than most other ICE, and is more affordable than most EVs. Prius has proven longevity and low maintenance cost. Having had a hybrid Maverick since April and averaging 40 to 50 mpg in city driving it has been smooth driving and very economical. Ford also has very good hybrids and some of the earlier Escapes are still going strong at 300k miles. The only thing I would have liked in my hybrid Maverick would be a plug in but it didn't come with it. If Toyota made a plug in hybrid compact pickup like the Maverick it would sell well. I would consider an EV in the future but price, battery technology, and infrastructure has to advance and improve. I don't buy a vehicle based on the recommendation of Greenpeace, as a status symbol, or peer pressure. I buy a vehicle on what best needs my needs and that I actually like.
  • Mobes Kind of a weird thing that probably only bothers me, but when you see someone driving a car with ball joints clearly about to fail. I really don't want to be around a car with massive negative camber that's not intentional.
  • Jeff S How reliable are Audi? Seems the Mazda, CRV, and Rav4 in the higher trim would not only be a better value but would be more reliable in the long term. Interior wise and the overall package the Mazda would be the best choice.
  • Pickles69 They have a point. All things (or engines/propulsion) to all people. Yet, when the analogy of being, “a department store,” of options is used, I shudder. Department stores are failing faster than any other retail. Just something to chew on.