Mitsubishi will stop building cars in the U.S. and sell its only American assembly plant, the company said in a statement.
"Following a review of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation’s global supply chain, we have been informed it is necessary to end production and seek a strategic buyer for the Normal plant," the Japanese carmaker said Friday. "MMC’s Board will make a formal decision in the near future and our focus right now is to identify a buyer who would continue to operate and maintain employment—the best potential outcome for our employees and the community."
Mitsubishi said it will continue to sell its cars in the U.S., including both current and upcoming models. "The North American market remains a priority for Mitsubishi Motors," the statement added.
As for its manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, which is also the only foreign-owned factory in the U.S., Mitsubishi will look for a buyer after its union contract expires in August 2015. Opened in 1988 as a joint venture with its then-partner Chrysler, the plant built around 70,000 2014-2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport models last year, about half its capacity. Its highest output was recorded in the early 2000s at more than 200,000 cars a year. The Illinois plant now has 1,250 employees.
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Things are looking rather grim for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, as the automaker says 2015 will be the Evo’s last year in production. Though it is sad to see it go, Mitsubishi is giving the cult-classic rally car a proper send-off, though, with extra horsepower and other performance goodies bundled in a ‘Super Action Model.’
A report from Automotive News says the Evo MR trim will bite the dust in December, followed by the GSR further into 2015. Mitsubishi will also stop carrying the Recaro racing seats, but there’s no word on when exactly that will happen. It’s said that between 2,000 and 2,500 Evos are scheduled for production for the 2015 model year.
Things aren’t all bad new for Evo fans. Mitsubishi is adding a few features to the car for its last year, including a new Premium Package that comes with HID headlights, a Rockford Fosgate sound system, the FAST-key entry system, heated leather seats, sunroof, a new gloss-black front console box, and extra sound deadening. The MR Model is getting that same sound system and keyless entry package, along with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic windshield wipers, automatic headlights, the gloss-black center console, and a few exterior color-keyed pieces. All Evos get revised side mirrors with integrated turn signals.
The Lancer Evolution’s death makes way for a redesigned Lancer sedan for the 2016 model year. It is possible the rally-ready Evolution trim could make a comeback, but Mitsu is remaining mum on the topic.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
In early 2011, Mitsubishi announced that it will be discontinuing one of the marquis economy sports cars of the last two decades, the Eclipse. The Eclipse lived a rather odd life, starting out with two nearly identical siblings in the Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon. After the elimination of the Laser, the Eclipse and Talon remained, turning into two of the most beautiful economy sports cars ever built, in 1995.
In 1998, Eagle folded and only the beautiful Eclipse remained, but the death of its sibling didn’t set too well with the Eclipse, as after just one year of being on its own, it morphed into a rather ugly and over-styled pig that required a V-6 engine to be even remotely fun to drive.
In 2006, Mitsubishi finally came to its senses and realized that the new body style just wasn’t doing the “Eclipse” name justice, so they went back to the drawing board and created a rounder Eclipse that more closely resembled the one from the late-90s. Oddly enough, this new sportier Eclipse is actually heavier than its predecessor, but that certainly does not take away from its beauty.
In the earlier years, when a car was on its last production year, the final model to roll off of the production line was kept by the manufacturer and stored. In more recent years, the last model typically ran off of the production line like any other model and became lost in the sea of models. Mitsubishi seized this opportunity to fully customize the final Eclipse, which is an SE model, so that it was truly a one-of-a-kind vehicle. Now this brand new Eclipse is up for sale by RK Motors Charlotte.
Click past the jump to read about this custom 2012 Eclipse SE final model.
We’ve encountered some out-of-the-box team-building sessions in the work place in the past, but this one is something that we haven’t seen before. Quite frankly, we haven’t seen an activity like this anywhere for that matter.
In this video, you’re going to witness a team-building activity unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It involves a company called Adaptive Computing, a UT-based HPC and cloud computing company, and members of its sales team who received the most unusual of rewards for surpassing their 2010 revenue goal: they got the chance to blow up their boss’ 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage.
We’re dead serious.
Apparently, the Mirage even had a name - Patrik - and was the main attraction of the family picnic when the company’s VP of HR had the idea of blowing up the car that belonged to the company’s VP of Sales.
Watch the video and you’re going to hear kids’ voices in the background, excitedly waiting for Patrik to get blown to smithereens. We don’t know how the owner of this car agreed to have his vehicle blown up, but seeing as he’s a vice president within the company, he probably has something much better than a 1995 Mirage in his garage.
Check out the video for all the carnage!
We’ve heard plenty of rumors that Mitsubishi might be pulling out of the United States’ car market and it’s not hard to see why such a rumor is circulating. Let’s face facts, the automaker hasn’t exactly had a big hit in America for some time and the only real seller in their lineup is the Lancer and even that is lagging behind the competition.
It goes on as well. The Galant is old and dull, theEclipse got fat and slow, the Endeavor is just bad and the Outlander series has the look, but not much else. Even theLancer Evolution has been a slow seller. So, what can this company do to save themselves from becoming just a page in automotive history?
Well, that’s where the i-MiEV comes in. It might not look like a Nissan Leaf beater, but it should offer up some fierce competition.
Hit the jump to read on.
It wasn’t that long ago when Mitsubishi was a household name among American auto buyers. Unfortunately, the company’s stature and sales figures have both torpedoed to the point that rumors of the company leaving the US market aren’t being treated as ridiculous blasphemy anymore, but more as an increasing possibility.
Gone were the days when the Japanese brand could sell 200,000 vehicles a year without even trying. Back in 2002, they sold 354,111 of their vehicles, but today, the company’s trying hard to even push 50,000 sold models.
So with the way Mitsubishi is going these days, pulling out of the US market isn’t as crazy as it once was. That is, until you talk to Osamu Masuko, the president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. When asked if the company is ready to leave the US market behind, Masuko flatly responds: “It never enters my mind.”
On the contrary, according to Masuko, Mitsubishi is aggressively planning on quadrupling its sales volume by 400% to 200,000 vehicles. Of course, that part is easier said than done, but the company is confident that by coming out with new products like smaller and more fuel efficient cars, as well as electric vehicles, Mitsubishi could turn around their fortunes.
It remains to be seen how this will all play out, but in the end, we’re all rooting for Mitsubishi to rebound from the current mired state they’re in. It may not be as popular as it was, but with a lot of work – and some luck, too – Mitsubishi can still regain their footing in the American market.
We all know that Mitsubishi is having some trouble with their American car line-up and we also know that it’s due to have some serious work done to it. It seems while part of that work is a global small car, the other part is the deletion of a few well known vehicles, at least that’s what Autoweek believes.
The aging machines, the Galant and the Eclipse, won’t be getting any new updates until 2012, as the company looks to create a new global small car. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. With those models gone, that would leave the Japanese automaker with only the new small car, the Outlander Sport and the i-MiEV to bring to its already small lineup.
We have all known about this small car for a while now and we can guess what it will feature upon its release. Under the hood will probably be a 1.0-liter or a 1.3-liter four-cylinder motor and for the company’s sake, we hope that America loves the small car by its release in 2012 or 2013, because an engine that big won’t sell well in a power obsessed culture.
We’re still not sold on the idea of dropping a few of the core models because what will dealers have to sell to people? The Outlander and the Lancer are good vehicles, but their sales aren’t that impressive, and the small car and the i-MiEV might not be what Americans are looking for.
We haven’t heard a whole lot from Mitsubishi these days so imagine how excited we were when we found out that a Mitsubishi AMS Drag EVO VIII caught everyone’s attention at The Texas Mile after it broke the world record for a standing mile on a four cylinder with a top speed of 228 miles per hour.
While the record itself was an achievement in its own right, it still got overshadowed by the events that transpired as soon as the car crossed the timing traps. Watch this video and you’ll notice at around the 1:22 mark that smoke starts coming out of the car only as a small preview to the flames that literally start coming out from under the hood. Driver Eric Jones vainly tried to activate the fire suppression system, but when he realized that it would be for naught, decided on a better course of action by jumping out of the car.
Overall, the AMS team had quite an eventful time at The Texas Mile and if it wasn’t for the Evo-catching-fire-after-breaking-world-record episode, the boys from AMS would have had a weekend to remember. Although, I think it was a weekend to remember anyway.
Good news for hatchback fans, sorta. The long awaited by few Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback will only come in top of the line Ralliart and GTS trim levels in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency has only certified the top two engine choices of the five-tier Lancer family to be dropped into the five-door car. This is not a bad idea considering hatchback are not always popular in the U.S., especially cheap/slow ones.
Just like the sedan, the Sportback GTS will get a DOHC 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 168 hp, with a choice of five-speed manual (EPA rated at 20/27 mpg) or CVT (21/27 mpg). The Ralliart version will get a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder making 237 hp and rated at 17/25 mpg. It also comes with a six-speed TC-SST paddle sift transmission and all-wheel drive.
According to a statement from Hyundai, they are considering developing and producing a pickup designed for the U.S. market, following the trade deal with the United States. "We will conduct a feasibility study (on the pickup model) as a long-term project, depending on the elimination of tariffs," Hyundai said.
The United States and South Korea on Monday, April 2, agreed to the biggest U.S. trade pact for 15 years, including tax and tariff cuts on cars.
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