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Mitsubishi ponders Triton pickup production in States

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Filed under: Budget, Truck, Japan, Plants/Manufacturing, Mitsubishi

MItsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi's been having a rough time of it lately here in the United States. Last year, sales fell 44.8 percent. Ouch. Even worse, Mitsu's lone U.S. manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois is way under capacity. How far under? Well, the Normal plant's website lists its capacity at 135,000 vehicles per year. Only thing is, back when that plant was a joint Chrysler/Mitsubishi venture it could pop out 240,000 cars per year. Last year, Normal made just 18,501 vehicles.

As you might imagine, Mitsubishi's uncertain as to whether the Normal plant will remain open. One solution might be to introduce and build their Triton pickup truck in the U.S.. America's been sorely lacking in the small pickup market for the last 15 years or so, and the Triton would be a welcome player to the segment.

Only thing is, because of the notorious chicken tax, Mitsubishi would need to build about 50,000 to 60,000 Tritons a year at the Normal plant to make the endeavor worthwhile. Last year's 44.8 percent drop in business meant that Mitsubishi only sold 53,986 cars and trucks last year. Anyone else sense a problem? Even if Mitsubishi's sales rebound over the 100,000 unit mark, it's doubtful that 50 to 60 percent of that total would be a small pickup truck, especially as Mitsubishi's mid-size truck, the Raider, was quietly discontinued last year.

[source: Ward's Auto]

Mitsubishi ponders Triton pickup production in States originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Jan 2010 09:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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I actually laughed out loud when that pic came on screen.

Mitsu- take a page from datsun & toyoyo's history books RE pickups here. In other words, even if the business case worked, don't bother.

Has anyone heard more recent rumors --in light of these wretched sales-- about mitsu pulled out of the U.S. ??

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the headlights look sad.

quite ugly.

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I actually laughed out loud when that pic came on screen.

Mitsu- take a page from datsun & toyoyo's history books RE pickups here. In other words, even if the business case worked, don't bother.

Has anyone heard more recent rumors --in light of these wretched sales-- about mitsu pulled out of the U.S. ??

Yes. They'll be done by August......possible fire sale at the end of the summer....

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Bring it. It's interesting, and might help them. At the very least, it could only hurt Toyota and Nissan, as the Big 3 have the truck market cornered.

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RAIDER

mits and nissan and suzuki and mazda should collaborate on one series of universal Japanese pickup #2 and rebadge it for each brand.

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These were all over the place in Australia when I was there, and while I don't care for the looks, they do possess a turbo diesel which would be a nice proposition in the current small-truck arena.

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I'm following the Adam & Aaron story from Emmerdale, a British soap on YouTube, and Adam's parents drive one of these, a diesel in black. It looks decent in real-world situations. A small diesel pickup from someone other than Mahindra could do well, if it ever happens.

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It looks decent in real-world situations.

:yes: the L200 as it is called here in Portugal does not lok bad. Personally, though, I prefer both the Nissan Navara and the Toyota Hilux to the Mitsubishi.

Edited by ZL-1
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I found a Matchbox of one at Target in black. Interesting looking little truck, at least it's not the usual boring box, has some unusual curves.

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I don't know much about the Triton, but the U.S. market needs more small pickups. There's room below the Frontier and Tacoma, and the Colorado/Canyon and Ranger aren't very competitive. The old Mighty Max pickup seemed to do pretty well as the budget priced pickup.

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