Mitsubishi Begins Development On The Next Generation Lancer
The fate of the current Mitsubishi Lancer has already been sealed, but Mitsubishi will soon find itself in the unenviable position of having no sedans and two slow-selling hatchbacks as the only non-crossover offerings in its lineup. With that bleak news, it sounds like Mitsubishi is still working on a replacement for its compact sedan, but such a model is still at least 18 months away from becoming a reality.
At the launch of the 2016 Outlander – a promising redesign of the mid-size crossover – WardsAuto caught up with Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors North America, who said that the automaker is still looking at a Lancer successor, whether it comes from a partnership or in-house development. Originally, Mitsubishi had looked to team up with Renault to develop a new sedan, but after that deal fell through, it’s now being reported that Nissan could become a viable partner.
Although still actively looking for some sort of partnership, which would likely be the quickest and most cost-effective option, Swearingen stated that Mitsubishi is also working on an “internal design” for a new sedan. If this is the case, Swearingen said that if Mitsubishi has to develop its own car, the automaker would be “another year behind,” meaning that it would be three years away.
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In addition to the news about the future of a compact sedan, Swearingen also confirmed that Mitsubishi is not looking to compete in the mid-size sedan segment, and is not working on anything to succeed the Galant, which was killed off in 2012.
Why it matters
While crossovers are big money-makers right now, compact sedans continue to play an important role in the automotive market, so it isn’t likely that Mitsubishi will last much longer with no sedans (even the current 7-year-old Lancer) in its lineup.
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