Mitsubishi Dealers Have Every Reason To Be Worried

Industry News / 17 Comments

A new halo model? That'd be a good start.

Despite having excellent sales so far this year, Mitsubishi has a long-term problem and its US dealerships are rightly concerned. A few weeks ago, we reported that company shareholders are strongly in favor of a new Lancer EVO, or at least something with serious performance capabilities. The last we heard from Mitsubishi was that a reborn EVO is not happening but a high-performing electrified off-roader isn't being ruled out. But there's another more pressing problem dealers want solved: an aging lineup.

Automotive News spoke to several Mitsubishi dealers and the overall brand outlook isn't the best. For now, the all-new Mitsubishi Outlander is bringing in plenty of customers, and that's a very good thing.

Front Angle View Mitsubishi
Rear Angle View Mitsubishi
Dashboard Mitsubishi

What's impressive is that many of these shoppers are new to brand because they like what they're seeing with the redesigned model. The rest of the lineup, unfortunately, is somewhat bland. Heck, the Outlander Sport dates back to 2011 though it's been updated a few times since. The Mirage subcompact sedan and hatchback and Outlander PHEV (which is based on the previous generation crossover) premiered for 2014.

The Eclipse Cross has been given a significant refresh for 2022. Still, this translates to just two out of four models that aren't complete dinosaurs. The turmoil that began when now-former Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi chairman Carlos Ghosn was ousted and arrested in November 2019, is still being felt by the third link in that chain.

Front Angle View Mitsubishi
Side View Mitsubishi
Dashboard Mitsubishi

"Mitsubishi has to basically revamp half the lineup for us to be competitive, and I don't see that happening," one dealership group CEO said. "Not in the near future at least." Prior to the Ghosn debacle, there was hope future Mitsubishis would benefit from Nissan platforms but, so far, only the new Nissan Rogue-based Outlander has arrived. Nothing else new is on the horizon.

Over in Europe, future Mitsubishis will gain access to Renault's platforms, but the French brand isn't sold in North America so nothing is homologated for the US. "You can't survive on one new vehicle every 10 years," another dealer group executive said. "It's not sustainable."

2017-2021 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 Front Angle View Mitsubishi
Frontal Aspect Mitsubishi
2019-2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Front View Driving Mitsubishi
Source Credits: Automotive News

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2019-2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Front View Driving
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