Mitsubishi to Retire US Models

Posted: Jan 20, 2011 09:42 a.m.

With fuel efficient vehicles gaining consumer and advertisement focus in the past few months, automakers are struggling to keep up with a market that attempts to join profits with value and environmental consciousness. Mitsubishi is one company that’s altering its business plan.

On Wednesday, Mitsubishi announced the “Mitsubishi Motors Environment Initiative Program 2015,” which the car maker calls “a mid-term plan for the group's environmental initiatives. As well as being an action plan for the achievement of ‘Mitsubishi Motors Group Environmental Vision 2020,’ it is one of the key points of the new ‘Jump 2013’ mid-term business plan that was also announced today. The program will be pursued as one of the group's top priorities.”

This plan is long and complex, but in summary, Mitsubishi will retire US-only models with poor sales, and establish a global lineup. At the same time, the automaker will create more green cars, one of which is the i-MiEV. Mitsubishi also wants to increase profits by taking “advantage of red hot demand in emerging markets like China to boost its global vehicle sales by nearly 40% over the next three years,” says Dow Jones Newswires (subscription may be required).

This means the United States must say goodbye to some models in Mitsubishi’s lineup. Inside Line reports, “The Mitsubishi Eclipse, Endeavor and Galant will be killed as part of the Japanese automaker's ambitious new Jump 2013 plan that zeroes in on emerging markets and small, fuel-efficient vehicles in a major product shake-up. The three vehicles are expected to be gone from U.S. showrooms by 2013,” adding, “Mitsubishi's product portfolio will be revamped to include up to six new electric, hybrid/electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2015. The vehicles are unnamed at this point.” Mitsubishi will keep the Lancer, Outlander and Outlander Sport.

Mitsubishi sales in the United States are low, but this shift in production is significant: The automaker is adding hybrids and electrics to the market, giving consumers more options, and giving companies like Chevrolet, Nissan and Toyota, who have established themselves as leaders in eco-friendly technology, more competition. Shoppers will not only have more options, but they’re likely to get a good value on green cars as automakers compete for consumer dollars.

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