Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko today announced that the automaker will kill most of its current lineup of U.S.-made vehicles by 2014, as part of the company's “Jump 2013” mid-term business plan. The decision affects the Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder sports cars, Endeavor crossover and Galant sedan, which are going to be replaced with global vehicles built at the manufacturer’s Illinois plant. The Outlander crossover, Outlander Sport small crossover and Lancer sedan will provide the underpinnings for the new models.
According to Mr. Masuko, these changes won’t affect U.S. sales. In fact, he predicted that sales and production numbers will increase, albeit no target has been specified.
“Our sales in North America will increase”, Masuko said. “We'll still be selling cars brought in from Japan, and we'll be adding the global small car as well”.
When it comes to combined sales, Mitsubishi expects the Japanese, North American and European markets to register a jump of 90,000 units over the next three years.
Furthermore, the company is exploring other possibilities to gain much needed market share as well.
One plan of action will see Mitsubishi rolling out no less than eight electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles by early 2016, including a small commercial truck version of the i-MIEV and plug-in hybrid SUV based on the Px-MiEV concept car shown at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.
Mitsubishi also wants to bring its new global small car to the U.S. and target emerging markets with new models, such as a 1-ton pickup truck that could be jointly developed with Nissan.
By Csaba Daradics