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Mitsubishi Thinks it Can Fix U.S. Sales with New Outlander SUV and Mirage Hatch

Mitsubishi Mirage This sport compact offers economy without compromising comfort.

Mitsubishi Thinks it Can Fix U.S. Sales with New Outlander SUV and Mirage Hatch

Old 12-04-2012, 10:21 AM
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Default Mitsubishi Thinks it Can Fix U.S. Sales with New Outlander SUV and Mirage Hatch

With the U.S. car market growing 15 percent in November and 14 percent from the beginning of the year, you would expect a mainstream company like Mitsubishi to show at least some gains, but that’s not the case.In fact, the Japanese automaker posted sales of just 3,754 cars in November, down 4 percent from the same month last year, while from January through November, Mitsubishi’s has seen its sales shrink by 28 percent to 53,677 cars.
To put it in perspective, Mitsubishi’s yearly sales from all five models that remain in its range in the States (Lancer, Galant, Outlander, Outlander Sport and i-MiEV) are roughly a fourth of the Prius sales (216,619 units) and about the same as the number of ES sedans sold by Lexus (48,171) in the country.

So what does the Japanese company plan to do about it? Well, not much really, unless you consider an increase to 80,000 units a year in the States an achievement.

In an interview with Autonews, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. President Osamu Masuko, said that the company plans to sell around 120,000 cars in North America, including the aforementioned 80,000 vehicles in the States from next year and up to 100,000 by 2014 or 2015.

Masuko said that Mitsubishi will add two models in its North American range, on of which is the successor to the Outlander that goes on sale in July of next year with a plug-in hybrid variant to follow in January of 2014, and the other, the new low-cost Mirage sub-compact in 2013.

“I don’t know how well it will be accepted [the Mirage],” Masuko told Autonews. “But we’d like to target 600 units a month. This is for [Mitsubishi Motors North America] to decide, but maybe they can limit sales of the car to certain regions.”

The Mirage is already offered in Asia and was recently introduced in Europe. Masuko said that the while Mitsubishi does have plans for a battery-powered version of the Mirage, it won’t be coming to the States.

“The Mirage would be quite small and not have a very large running distance, and it also may be expensive because of the appreciation of the yen,” he said.
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