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Mitsubishi News

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,348
    I can't imagine that a company drops its sedan and stays in business. I think Mitsubishi USA is just running out the clock. It's a shame because they have nice enough product.

    I'm in a county of 600,000 people and no Mitsubishi dealer.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    I have to agree. Mitsu has manufacturing in the US - something I don't think Suzuki ever achieved that I'm aware of. They're building Outlander Sports not only for the US market but for export as well. As most of the Mitsu family runs on the same platform, the Normal, IL plant could easily be tweaked to produce virtually the entire lineup. That negates a lot of the Yen-Dollar issues & brings transportation costs down.

    Mitsu also sells more than Suzuki ever had.

    Now I do believe the i isn't helping things. Pure EVs just aren't going to take off in volume any time soon when hybrids and PHEVs like the Volt address most folks needs handily. Unless Mitsu can apply the tech lessons learned to hybrids that'll ultimately be a wasted investment.

    What harms Mitsu the most,IMO, is the lack of a midsize sedan. That's a major market that they're just not participating in. I had stated before that Mitsu could just rebrand the Kizashi & sell it stateside. If Suzuki continues to make the Kizashi for other markets, that remain a possibility.

    I am hopeful that they can price the upcoming '14 PHEV Outlander aggressively; if they do I'll be sorely tempted to trade in my '10 Outlander before my customary 8-10 years of ownership have passed.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    edited November 2012
    Overall US Mitsubishi sales were 3,981 units last month, down 9.1 percent compared to October 2011.

    Mitsubishi Motors Reports Outlander Sport Sales Increase Continues (sacbee.com)

    So, 4,000 vehicles a month comes out to 48,000 a year.

    Suzuki was doing half that.

    The other niche player, Subaru, has sold over 250,000 cars so far this year. Oh, and Mazda was around 225,000.

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  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    Sales last year still reflect winding down Galant/Eclipse/Endeavor so I would expect a drop.

    From Motor Intelligence/Autodata:
    Oct 2012 Oct 2011 %Chng. 2012 CYTD 2011 CYTD %Chng.
    3,981 4,378 -9.1% 50,103 70,253 -28.7%

    So 50K with 2 months left. Call it 57-60K on the year and down 29% from last year. Mitsu's percentage ups and downs tend to be more drastic in number since a small number of vehicles plays a larger role.

    Mitsu has survived in the US market for years doing 40-70K/year in sales volume. No, it ain't great, and they could really stand to have a (relative) hit like they did with the 99-03 Galant. But they are getting by. Sales in other markets help Mitsu as a whole so even if US operations are losing money, overall, last I checked, they was profitable.

    They need the PHEV Outlander to hit the US before others. Right now the only hybrid in it's size/price class is the Escape; I think there's a real untapped market for a hybrid/PHEV compact CUV. 30+ MPG with AWD and cheaper than the hybrid Highlander ought to be a hit. I really don't know why Toyota hasn't put out a hybrid RAV4 unless they think it'd cannibalize Prius sales.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    I don't know. The Prius does great. The Ford hybrids look like normal cars and SUVs and don't sell well. Wonder if it's the same story for the Camry hybrid and Highlander hybrid.

    You can get an EV RAV4. Only $50,000.

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    edited November 2012
    Mitsu has manufacturing in the US - something I don't think Suzuki ever achieved that I'm aware of

    Yes, but it's running way below capacity and they are desperately trying to figure out how to dump it because they can't afford to keep it.

    Mitsu sales are plummeting in a year when ALL the car companies selling here have seen them rise (including the small Japanese companies Steve mentioned). Sure you can point to all the product Mitsubishi pulled off the market since last year, but that's just the point - they have no product to sell in the segments with the most sales volume in the U.S. It's a formula for failure.

    The clock is ticking for Mitsu USA - the story is too similar to Suzuki's to be ignored here - a small lackluster dealer network, NO national advertising of their products, a model line-up that is totally misaligned with American vehicle preferences, almost zero annual sales, and at least Suzuki had one model that was critically acclaimed by every reviewer that drove it (the Kizashi). Mitsu has no such model (except the niche-level-sales Evo), but they do have one model (the Outlander Sport) that every reviewer criticizes heavily - not good for sales, usually.

    If they don't completely TOTALLY change course in the U.S., including a huge investment in their American dealers and advertising, they have maybe 3-5 years left in the U.S. I would be amazed to see them last past 2020 with their current business model here.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • What harms Mitsu the most,IMO, is the lack of a midsize sedan. That's a major market that they're just not participating in. I had stated before that Mitsu could just rebrand the Kizashi & sell it stateside. If Suzuki continues to make the Kizashi for other markets, that remain a possibility.

    You're right, but, ya know, I don't even mind the Galant and would consider a purchase of one. But I'd pick a Suzuki Kizashi over it. BTW-a 2010 Kizashi with low miles shouldn't really cost more than...what? $9,999? Flaming bargain for all the Suzuki you get!

    That car flattened bumps, steering straight and true, accelerated nicely and drove overall like a champ during my April 2010 test drive. Love it!

    Mitsubishi will be here for years and years and years and years and years. And years. Just as sure as Chris Hansen and David Stern, as he bows out of the NBA front office helm, will get the Sonics back to Seattle, Mitsubishi will be staying in the USA.

    Y'all hold yer breath waiting for their American demise. :shades:

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    edited November 2012
    Mitsubishi will be here for years and years and years and years and years. And years......Y'all hold yer breath waiting for their American demise

    Of course, you did say the same thing last year about Suzuki, May 27th to be exact...

    Suzuki does just fine without income from sales in the NA marketplace. Because they are making the bulk of their money from the Asian countries. They have their other endevours, including motorcycle manufacturing and making small cars for the people of India.

    Look for them ta stay in the U.S. marketplace for a long, long time.


    ;-)

    I know you love Mitsu, iluv, but you may yet have to return to your cherished Kia for your next automobile! Two years out, right?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • psychogunpsychogun Posts: 123
    edited November 2012
    ***Disclaimer*** I'm a pragmatist and not brand-biased. The below is FYI.

    Nippon, while you are correct that they are running below capacity (and break-even), no company in their right mind would invest $100 million (minus the $29 mil in tax breaks) in a plant just to turn around and get rid of it a couple of years later. Production is currently projected at 50k units expected to rise to 70k units within 2 years. 70k units also happens to be the break-even point for the plant. Once Mitsubishi adds another model the plant will easily be profitable.
    Mitsubishi is already producing almost 60% of its cars outside of Japan and is planning to move more production abroad due to the strength of the Yen (as are most Japanese automakers). Within the next 3 years, Mitsubishi's plan is to make Japan the R&D hub, produce kei cars, the Pajero/Montero/Shogun, and a good portion of the RHD supply for Japan. The rest will be manufactured abroad.

    In regard to the product Mitsubishi pulled off the market, only the Galant is of any consequence. The Eclipse and Spyder were low-volume and rendered un-competitive with the launch of the Genesis coupe and obsolete with the arrival of the BRZ/FR-S twins. The Endeavor and Outlander were too close in size. Mitsubishi has confirmed that they will not develop their own midsize, though that does not rule out an OEM supply agreement with another manufacturer (Nissan and Mazda come to mind).

    While sales are down due to the phase-out of the above mentioned nameplates, sales of the surviving models are up a cumulative 7%.

    Mitsubishi's dealer network is roughly twice the size of Suzuki's and they have survived on thin margins, bolstered by used car sales. Mitsubishi doesn't need more dealerships until their sales volume grows. Otherwise their margins for the dealerships would be squeezed even further.

    Mitsubishi actually does have national advertising, it is simply much smaller (only about $200 mil) compared to say Hyundai or Toyota. Also, they tend to focus more on on-line and social media rather than the more expensive TV ads.

    While certainly not a massive hit, not all, and not even most, reviewers "heavily criticized" the Outlander Sport. If anything they felt the car was under-powered, especially with the CVT. Consumers seem to be happy with it and it is Mitsubishi's best selling model.

    Also, the regular sized Outlander is actually well regarded, with recommendations from Consumer Reports, Cars.com, US News, etc. The next gen Outlander will go on sale in the U.S next summer, which should boost sales.

    Regarding vehicle preferences, Mitsubishi is in the two fastest growing segments, the small CUV and compact CUV segments. Their absence in the midsize sedan, as you correctly point out, is a problem though. It is still the largest passenger vehicle segment in the U.S.

    Finally, I completely agree with you that Mitsubishi must do a better job at marketing themselves and providing ad support for their dealerships. The dearth of marketing and PR has lead to a large amount of misinformation and misconception about the brand. Forgive me for saying this but you make a good example of that... ;-)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    While certainly not a massive hit, not all, and not even most, reviewers "heavily criticized" the Outlander Sport.

    No?

    Edmunds
    "Though it's an agreeable urban runabout, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is outclassed by other small crossovers that are either more practical or more fun to drive."

    Autoweek
    "Would I consider this over a Chevrolet Equinox or a Volkswagen Tiguan? Not with this drivetrain."

    Car and Driver
    "Given Mitsubishi’s perilous predicament in the U.S., we’re disappointed that the Sport seems to have received little thought beyond combining the Outlander’s styling with the Lancer parts bin.

    Motor Trend
    If someone told me that the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was to be my daily driver for the next five years, I think I'd fall to my knees and weep.

    Cars.com
    The horrendous engine that bellows from behind the dashboard of the all-new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, on the other hand, is bad enough to strike this crossover off of any recommendation list.

    Consumer Reports hated the ride, the handling, the weak engine, and the terribly noisy CVT. "The Outlander Sport is not that great to drive".

    I followed Inside Line's blogs on it with their long-term car, and they sounded a negative tone all year long:
    Early impressions of the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport engine were unanimous. "It lacks intestinal fortitude," was a favorite. "Slower than dial-up," was a close second
    Acceptance of the velocity challenges inherent in the Outlander was one thing; noise was another. Executive Editor Michael Jordan explained, "For me, it's not the speed that really matters here; instead it's the sound. If the engine sounds willing, then the time passes happily. Unfortunately this engine does not sound happy.
    Fact is, the Mitsu's fuel economy was disappointing the entire year. After 20,000 miles our single best tank was just 27 mpg, and we averaged 23 mpg for the duration of our test. That's well behind the Outlander's 24 city/29 highway mpg EPA ratings.

    Now those are the sources I read regularly, so you will forgive if I got a strong impression that this might be the worst new car on the market in 2011. Just now I stumbled across a review from a website called Mother Proof that apparently really liked it, so the criticism was not as universal as I thought.

    And I did find a couple of reviews that applauded it for being a very good value, with a low low base price and a relatively spacious interior for such a small spud.

    So, misconception and misinformation? Well, if you must, then I will wear this mantle.

    But Mitsu really needs to move the needle with every new model it introduces, I think, because it is so far off the radar of most of the buying public, which is a lot of the point I was trying to make with my earlier post.

    There is one crucial difference between Suzuki and Mitsubishi actually - Mitsu is basically its own bank in addition to other giant industrial components of the Mitsubishi Group back in Japan, so it can continue to finance American operations indefinitely if it wants to I suppose.

    As for the plant in Normal, I wasn't suggesting they would try to "dump it" but they badly need a partner to defray the overhead costs there, and there doesn't seem to be one forthcoming.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Outlander.

    image
    2014 Mitsubishi Outlander

    The silver is treating it right IMHO. :)

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    Just waiting for the PHEV version.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,700
    edited December 2012
    are you thinking you're wanting a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander - PHEV version? The one above looks awesome. And now after getting my very own Mitsubishi I know they are just as awesome as I thought they would be ta own. I had a fellow employee at an Arizona workplace inform me that "engine will run forever!" That is, of course, my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and it's 2.0L I4 152 horse, 148 ft-lb's of torque motored Mitsubishi.

    So far the ride has been excellent. I would (and do) recommend Mitsu's to anyone who will listen ta me. I can really find very few, if any, faults the car has, nothing that would stop a purchase. And those tiny faults (which are so small you'd need a very powerful New Mexico grade telescope ta see them) are not so negative that they overshadow all of the positives the compact sedan has to offer.

    It'll be fun to watch the development of the new Outlander for 2014. It looks great ta me!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    I am thinking about it. Maybe not a '14 though since my '10 Outlander only has 27K miles on it. It'll also depend on the pricing and the specs. What kind of fuel economy improvements they can offer. And, it'd be nice if they built it at the Normal plant (though that's unlikely at the moment).
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 894
    I'll see how Mitsu's doing in a couple of years when my wife's ready to replace our '07. I just bought a '12 Mustang, so I plan on keeping the '07 for winter and trailer hauling duties.
  • how's that 2012 Ford Mustang treatin' ya? :shades:

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 894
    I really like it. Surprisingly good daily driver, I got the premium trim with heated leather, pony pack and 305 horse six with the six speed manual. Drove home from work today in a snowstorm, did pretty good with a couple hundred pounds of sandbags in the trunk. Only thing that dissapoints is the gearing, I think they're 2.73's, you gotta downshift and wind it out to really get it moving.
  • but let me get this straight. By them gearing that 2.73 and you having to wind it out to really get it moving, that hurts your fuel economy, right?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 894
    For daily driving, I rarely wind it through the gears. Maybe once or twice a week. Redline is 6800, I can't bring myself to wind it that high, though it really stars to go at over 5000. I'm averaging 22-24 mpg in suburban driving, too, better than the Outlander or the Lincoln LS the Mustang replaced. To get back on topic, started the '07 outlander yesterday, was running rough and service engine light was on. Engine eventually ran smooth, but the light stayed on. Today the light was off and the car ran fine, thinking maybe some dirt in the injectors that worked it's way through?
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    Some videos in Japanese: http://www.youtube.com/watch_videos?video_ids=oBbvAi2oi6M%2CzB8OHbr-3rc%2CCl3kHv- mOj8w%2CAdyOqmEZBME&no_autoplay=1 (the last one features a decided Anglo couple & it's dubbed in Japanese).

    From the second spot, there are 2 "fuel consumption" numbers: 18.6 km/l and 67 km/l. While my Japanese is too rusty to translate, just doing unit conversions reveals 43.7 and 157.6 mpg. I'm going to assume that means the eMPG rating will be 157 and it can sustain about 44 MPG in charge-sustaining mode. Not bad for a crossover with AWD. Electric range should be respectable as it shares battery packs with the i-MiEV.

    To make a PHEV make even more sense, I just switched electricity suppliers. New rate will be 4.71 cents/kwh so a plug-in would be very cheap to operate.
  • whoa...gotta say that I'll be following the PHEV Outlander's introduction to the "real" automotive market pretty closely in the upcoming months. Great ghastly mileage and "electric" numbers as well. Mitsubishi is a great, great automotive company. Love 'em more all of the time!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    Of course things may change for the US introduction, the competition could roll out compelling alternatives, and the pricing could turn out to be too high for average consumers to consider. So it's definitely a wait-and-see thing. But it is encouraging and I find it interesting that the only real hybrid CUV in the Outlander's class is the Escape. Really, really surprised that Toyota hasn't released a hybrid RAV4 considering that they have the most production hybrid experience of any modern automaker. Their EV RAV4 doesn't count IMO since it isn't truly their product.

    I don't know if you caught it but Mitsu trimmed 200 pounds off the regular '14 Outlander; that I'm sure helped efficiency for ICE-based as well as PHEV Outies.
  • fushigi. I am officially even more interested than before now in the 2014 Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander. I first saw glimpses of it about a year ago on the net and have been interested in it ever since. Priced around $25,000, right?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    I'm sure $25K will be for the 4 cyl ICE version. 6 cyl & PHEV versions will certainly cost more. My V6 '10 Outlander GT stickered over 33K and there were a couple of dealer-adds on top of that (aftermarket remote start, scuff plates, etc.).

    I fully expect a "nicely equipped" the PHEV to run at least $40K before any gov't incentives. Think Chevy Volt pricing. But considering I wouldn't use any gas at all on a normal commute it might still be worth it.

    I've driven to my client's site a couple of times since xmas and in the eco-friendly parking garage I use (http://www.greenwayselfpark.com/) there's been a Fisker Karma charging both times. Very attractive sedan. And I like that the garage has charging stations (and wind power generators); if I bought a PHEV Outlander it'd be a good place to recharge.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,700
    edited February 2013
    image

    This was from January 2009 Car and Driver. I must say the Mitsubishi Lancer GT does look the best. And owning a '08 Lancer GTS does make me biased, I realize. But my Lancer GTS is such a great car, at idle it barely makes a noise. And I have 100,589 miles on the car!

    We are able to enjoy the great cars from Mitsubishi partly because the rest of the Mitsubishi conglomerate is successful enough to throw cash towards Mitsubishi Global Automotive often enough that it counts.

    And for that this hombre is so very, very thankful. Thank you for making such a great compact automobile, Mitsubishi! ;)

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    I don't know that Mitsu follows the Edmunds forums. They are on Twitter & Facebook, though, so you can post on their feed/wall if you want to give them the pubic kudos.

    I'm debating hitting the Chicago Auto Show this week. Don't really have the time but would like to wander the floor.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 894
    I might do the Chicago show myself. I'm about 90 miles north but I'll be staying near Wrigley field next weekend. I thought about the motorcycle show today but didn't feel like making the drive. To stay on topic, I'll be taking the Outlander down there. No way I'll take the new Mustang there, especially as I'll have to valet park at the hotel.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    "The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage debuted on Thursday at the 2013 New York Auto Show, as the automaker mulls a plan to expand the brand's product line in the U.S.

    Mitsubishi is considering adding a midsized sedan and a large seven-passenger crossover, segments the automaker abandoned, Edmunds has learned. As part of that plan, Mitsubishi is making an effort to create more exciting looking vehicles."

    2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Heralds Product Push

    "Edmunds says: Big changes may be in store for Mitsubishi in the U.S."

    Comments like that make me wonder if they'll do a Suzuki. :blush:

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  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    I'll admit to being concerned about US acceptance of a 74HP 1.2L powerplant, though 37/44/40 city/highway/combined may be enough to sway buyers, especially with the low price. If it gets excellent crash scores then it may woo some Scion buyers.

    And I've always contended that Mitsu - really all mainstream carmakers - needs a midsize sedan in the lineup. I just hope they come up with a new platform to put it on instead of trying to get more mileage out of the Lancer platform which underpins the Outlander duo and is already several years old.

    Does the 14 Outlander still run on the Lancer platform? I'm curious since I'm sure a lot of work went in to making it PHEV-ready (along with the other refinements).

    I do not think they need the larger 7 passenger SUV. If they already have a foreign-market unit that they can just update for the US, then fine, but personally I think it'd be a waste of engineering effort and cost to do such a vehicle, especially when the marketplace doesn't really show jumbo utes selling in mass quantities. At least that's my observation based on the cars I see on the road.

    (I'm still considering the PHEV Outlander for my next car, though my '10 Outlander doesn't even have 30K on the odo yet so I'm likely years away from my next purchase.)
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 894
    I gotta agree, a competitive mid-size sedan is a must to compete in the marketplace. They need a exciting complete lineup pretty fast, or they're gonna fall off the radar screen for most buyers. Wife's still pretty happy with our '07 Outlander, especially the V6 engine, which you can't really get in a compact CUV anymore.
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