Mitsubishi Shelves Plans for New Sedans, Will Focus On SUVs For The Future
Take a look at the recent concept vehicle introductions revealed by Mitsubishi in the last few years, and it isn’t hard to see that the Japanese automaker has tunnel vision when it comes to crossovers and SUVs. This was confirmed by Mitsubishi Motors president and COO Tetsuro Aikawa when he told Australia’s CarAdvice that Mitsubishi will be focusing more on passenger- and profit-friendly SUVs and less on passenger cars, at least in the near future.
Since 2013, Mitsubishi has debuted the AR Concept, GR-HEV Concept, GC-PHEV Concept and the XR-PHEV (I and II) not to mention the third-generation Outlander and the 2016 Outlander facelift that will debut next week at the New York Auto Show. In this same time period, the Mitsubishi Galant was killed off, as was the recently departed Lancer Evolution, though not the Lancer, and the only major car news was the introduction of the disappointingly bad Mitsubishi Mirage.
The good news here is that Mitsubishi is still expected to eventually introduce a performance hybrid crossover carrying the “Evolution” torch, which could very well be based on the next-gen Outlander Sport – quite possibly previewed by the aforementioned XR-PHEV concepts. In the U.S., the Outlander Sport continues to be the brand’s top-selling model.
Despite not having any plans to update the 7-year-old Lancer, Aikawa said that Mitsubishi doesn’t have any plans to end production of the Lancer either.
Why it matters
Since crossovers and SUVs are a hot commodity in most markets around the world, it looks like Mitsubishi will cherry pick from these segments while temporarily letting its lineup of sedans and passenger cars stagnate – more than it has already. Sadly, this means the Mitsubishi Lancer might not be around much longer.