Electric cars alone won't do it.
We’ve just received word that 2014 will be the final year of the Mitsubishi Evo. That’s it. Gone. Finito. As of now, there is no planned direct replacement. Without question, the Evo was Mitsubishi’s most recognizable model in the existing lineup. The Lancer and Lancer Sportback will likely continue on for the time being. So what’s left that has any relevance in the US market? Well, not much exactly. There’s the Outlander and Outlander Sport, two crossovers that are barely competitive. The Mirage? It’s no shining star by any means.
And then there’s the I-MIEV, the world’s most affordable EV. It certainly looks it (and that’s not a compliment). In other parts of the world, Mitsubishi is hanging in there well enough, but how we're not sure how it can afford to remain in the US. A couple of years back, Suzuki was in a similar position. It left the US entirely. Will Mitsubishi soon follow? Company officials deny it, but we don’t believe them. The Evo gave Mitsubishi USA meaning, a reason for being, if you will. Other than longtime brand loyalists, it’s going to be hard to attract new customers with just a few models that aren’t standouts. It’ll be quite interesting to see where Mitsubishi USA goes from here.