Mitsubishi says new models show it’s staying in U S

12 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Mitsubishi says new models show it’s staying in U S отключены
Mitsubishi Electric Cars

Mitsubishi says new models show it s staying in U.S.

Fuel-economy, lower price are selling points

Story Highlights

Struggling Mitsubishi shows three new models, hints at others In U.S. to stay, desptie shrinking sales, execs insist High-mpg Mirage, plug-in hybrid Outlander; but no updates to i-MiEV electrtic


NEW YORK — Mitsubishi has become a very small brand in the U.S. and hopes to make a big noise to prevent it from going silent.

Hoping to do that at the New York International Auto Show, it announced three new models and said it would ramp-up marketing spending, though didn’t give a dollar figure. And in an aside, hinted at two more vehicles coming.

Mitsubishi sold only 57,790 new vehicles in the U.S. last year, according to Autodata, down 26.9% from a ho-hum 2011. New-vehicle sales overall in the U.S. last year were up 13.4%, per Autodata.

Mitsubishi’s share of the U.S. market last year was 0.4%, barely more than a rounding error.

Mitsubishi’s U.S. unit is part of a big global company, so isn’t under as much pressure to turn around the U.S. performance overnight, as a smaller company would be. The company’s CEO has said in Japan that the automaker will not leave the U.S. That pledge was repeated here.

I can assure you we have no intention of pulling out of the U.S. market, said Masatoshi Hasegawa, executive vice president of the North American operations who wears several hats, including head of sales strategy and corporate planning.

We’re going to get it back on track, he said, by overhauling the maker’s U.S. lineup within two or three years.

In addition to the vehicles displayed at the show, Hasegawa said there would be a replacement for the midsize Galant sedan, discontinued last year. Midsize is the biggest car segment in the U.S.

And, nodding at a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander seven-passenger SUV on display, he said, There’ll be a big brother for that one.

He wouldn’t talk about launch timing or other details.

The new models that Mitsubishi announced at the show are significant:

Mitsubishi Electric Cars

2014 Mirage subcompact four-door hatchback is supposed to be the most fuel-efficient, non-hybrid gasoline car in the U.S. when it hits showrooms this fall: 40 miles per gallon in the government’s combined city/highway test. City rating should be 37 mpg; highway, 44 mpg. It’s powered by a three-cylinder, 1.2-liter engine rated 74 horsepower and 74 pounds-feet of torque.

Mitsubishi says that modest power level should be sufficient for the lightweight Mirage. It’s supposed to be priced close to rival Chevrolet Spark, which starts at about $12,800.

2014 Outlander SUV, at dealers in June, starts at $23,820 for the base ES model. Midgrade SE is $24,260, $200 less than the model it replaces. And the top version, GT, is $28,620, or $800 less than its predecessor.

The 2014 has more features and comes standard with the small, two-passenger jump seat in the third row that has been optional.

Next year, Mitsubishi said, it will field a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander. It will use an electric motor to power the rear wheels, another to run the fronts, and a gasoline engine to run a charger to keep the batteries full, and to help power the wheels directly when necessary. It’s supposed to go 30 miles on battery-only before it needs help from the gas engine.

No word on introduction date or price.

Perhaps disappointing, and surprising given the criticism it’s received, Mitsubishi said it had no plans to update, tweak, refine or otherwise change its all-electric i-MiEV. The tiny car has a terrific fuel rating of 112 mpg-e, which means it uses the same amount of energy as a gasoline engine sipping fuel at that rate. But it has been panned for lack of refinement, noise and generally uncivilized behavior. Slow and bumpy, and it has a cramped cabin and limited driving range, says Consumer Reports magazine, which gave it the second-lowest score of any vehicle tested the past year.

Only Toyota’s Scion iQ mini-car was worse.


Mitsubishi Electric Cars
Mitsubishi Electric Cars
Mitsubishi Electric Cars
Mitsubishi Electric Cars
Mitsubishi Electric Cars
Mitsubishi Electric Cars

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