Tetsuro Alkawa, president of Mitsubishi’s automotive arm, talked to reporters at the Geneva Auto Show last week about the company’s emergence into profitability after years of losses and plans going forward to continue that trend. Those plans include dropping several models and focusing on core, profitable models – largely sport utilities and light trucks. Electric vehicle fans can rest easy as this includes plug-ins and battery EVs.
Most of the models to be dropped are performance cars and sedans. The Lancer Evolution has already been slated for the chopping block, but now it seems that the Lancer itself will also likely head into the sunset. With that loss we can expect that the company’s much-loved rally racing is also over with.
“What we have done is we have minimized the development of sedans, and we decided to concentrate on SUVs and pickup trucks,” said Alkawa. “That’s why we were able to recover.”
Globally, Mitsubishi is re-introducing a small truck, the L200, which will be sold in Europe, Africa and the Middle East under both a Mitsubishi and a Fiat nameplate. The truck is considered too small for the American market. At the New York International Auto Show next week, Mitsubishi will introduce a new Outlander for the 2016 model year. Following that, a new Outlander PHEV will also be introduced in Europe this year with the U.S. version following for 2016.
Notably, Mitsubishi’s North American operations are expected to become profitable sometime this year, which will mark the first time in years.