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  1. As we got off the on-ramp to I-94, my driving partner realized something. “We’re going the wrong direction.” Instead of going westbound, we were traveling eastbound. We had misread the directions only a few hundred yards from the starting point. Once realizing this, I drove towards the next exit to turn around. A few extra miles wouldn’t hurt either in the vehicle that I was piloting. Mitsubishi had invited a small number of Detroit-based automotive writers to drive the new Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV. Which is how I found myself behind the wheel of the Eclipse Cross to begin the drive. This is Mitsubishi’s contender in the hotly contested compact crossover marketplace. The company is hoping the combination of a distinctive design, turbocharged engine, and other features will bring in people into the showroom. My first impression shows some good signs, but there are some quirks that may put off some people. I should note this isn’t going to be a full-blown first drive. I only had about 15 to 20 miles of driving under my belt, while the rest saw me sitting in the passenger seat, proving directions to my partner and exploring various bits of the vehicle. Think of this as the appetizer to hopefully a full review sometime in the future. Mitsubishi’s design team went slightly overboard with the Eclipse Cross’ exterior. Busy would be an understatement considering the various details on display with sharp angles, a fair amount of chrome for the front, and a split-window tailgate. The color really plays a key role in emphasizing the various details. My particular vehicle was finished in white, which helped tone down some of the design. I will give Mitsubishi credit for designing something that stands out from what is becoming a very crowded field. A slight disappointment is the lack of the design flair for the interior. It looks somewhat stale and plain. But Mitsubishi has made an effort to fix some of the weaknesses I highlighted in my Outlander Sport review. Material quality is noticeably better with Mitsubishi using more solid feeling plastics throughout. There are some spots where some soft-touch plastics are used such on the door panels. Build quality is improved with solid thunk when the doors close and tight gaps. One item I sadly did not get the chance to try fully is the 7-inch infotainment system. The base model has the screen integrated into the dash, while LE models and above have the screen sitting above the dash. LE and above also get a touchpad controller to move around the system. I have concerns about the touchpad considering how many problems I have with something similar used in Lexus models. But those who have tried the touchpad say it works very well with quick responses. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder punching out 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet. This is connected to a CVT and routes power to either the front-wheels (only available on the ES) or Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control. The engine feels quite adequate as it provides decent oomph when leaving a stop or needing to getting up to speed with traffic. One item I did find odd was the slight delay of the powertrain responding after suddenly stepping on the accelerator hard. Not sure if this is an engine programming issue or something to do with the CVT. The suspension does a surprising job of ironing out most bumps and imperfections. There is a tradeoff as the Eclipse Cross has some significant body roll when cornering. Disclaimer: Mitsubishi provided breakfast, a quick snack, and the Eclipse Cross for this first drive event. Year: 2018 Make: Mitsubishi Model: Eclipse Cross Engine: Turbocharged 1.5L MIVEC Direct-Injected Inline-Four Driveline: Front or All-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 152 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 3,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/29/27 (ES FWD), 25/26/28 (ES S-AWC), 25/26/25 (LE, SE, and SEL S-AWC) Curb Weight: 3,307 - 3,516 lbs Location of Manufacture: Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan Base Price: $23,295 - $30,395 (Doesn't include a $995 destination charge)
  2. Mitsubishi is starting to find its footing thanks to the alliance it formed with Nissan towards the end of 2016. The company last year that it plans on "launching 11 new and redesigned models" for the U.S. Two of the models have go on sale this year, the Eclipse Cross and Outlander Plug-In Hybrid. But what about the other nine? Motor Trend has learned some details on a fair number of vehicles in the cards. Outlander: Redesign coming in 2021 and will use the underpinnings of the Nissan Rogue, Outlander Sport: To be redesigned in 2022. Will be based on the platform that is used on the Nissan Rogue Sport and upcoming Kicks. Hybrid/Electric Models: Mitsubishi is planning to offer a plug-in hybrid or pure electric powertrain for all of their models. Possible Midsize Truck: The number one request of Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers is a midsize truck. Mitsubishi is reportedly studying a truck for the U.S. But for the truck to get approval, it needs to make sense for the alliance to move forward. If approved, the truck would likely be built in the U.S. to avoid the chicken tax. Source: Motor Trend
  3. On the day I was getting the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport for a week-long test, meteorologists were calling for a massive snowstorm in Metro Detroit. Depending on where you lived, snowfall was expected to range from six inches to almost a foot. As I was signing the paperwork and getting the key, the snow was beginning to fall at a heavy rate. It would be an interesting week with one of oldest crossovers on sale. The current Outlander Sport has been with us since 2011 and it still stands out from other crossovers in the class. This comes down to an aggressive design and Mitsubishi making a number of changes to the design in the past few years. For 2018, Mitsubishi has updated the Outlander Sport with new bumpers and LED running lights. Up front, Mitsubishi went with a dual grille setup - a narrow one on top and a large mesh one for the bottom. 18-inch wheels come standard on all Outlander Sports and look quite sharp. Mitsubishi hasn’t done much to the Outlander Sport’s interior since its launch and it clearly shows. The design is very uninspired with seemingly endless black plastic and almost no brightwork. Most materials used feel brittle and cheap, which is very disappointing when compared to other models such as the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. Mitsubishi does redeem itself a little bit with the dash being covered in soft-touch material. Another plus point to the Outlander Sport’s interior is the control layout. The buttons and knobs are laid out in a logical fashion and are within easy reach. Getting comfortable in the front seats is not hard thanks to a decent amount of manual adjustments on offer, along with a tilt-telescoping steering wheel for the driver. Slightly worrying was my test Outlander Sport having a driver’s seat that slightly rocked whenever the vehicle accelerated and stopped. I know this issue isn’t isolated to my test vehicle. Speaking to some who have driven different 2018 Outlander Sports, they have reported the same issue. Mitsubishi really needs to figure out this issue and get a fix out ASAP. The rear seat offers a decent amount of headroom, but there is barely enough legroom for taller passengers. Cargo space is quite good with 21.7 cubic feet of space behind the front seats and 49.5 cubic feet when folded. For 2018, Mitsubishi has installed a new 7-inch infotainment system on all Outlander Sports. Higher trims like our test SEL add Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability. Compared to Mitsubishi’s previous infotainment systems, the one in the Outlander Sport is excellent. The system is very easy to use with a simple and vibrant interface. Performance is quite good as the system quickly responds to a user’s input. Mitsubishi offers two engines for the Outlander Sport. ES and LE models use a 2.0L four-cylinder, while the SE and SEL models feature a larger 2.4L four-cylinder. Our test vehicle had the latter engine which produces 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and the choice of front- or Mitsubishi's All-Wheel Control (AWC) system. Out of the two engines, the 2.4 is the one to get as is feels noticeably quicker when leaving a stop. But it will run out of steam at higher speeds, making passing or getting onto the freeway a bit difficult. The CVT is somewhat slow to respond whenever you step on the accelerator. The AWC system redeems the Outlander Sport to a point. AWC offers the driver three different modes - 2WD, 4WD Auto, and 4WD Lock. The difference between the two 4WD settings is Auto only sends power to rear wheels if it detects slip where Lock sends power to all wheels. Putting the system into 4WD Lock, the Outlander Sport easily went through roads with close to a foot of snow on the ground with no issue. The system was able to quickly shift power to the wheels with grip to help keep the car moving. I believe if you fit you a set of snow tires to the Sport, you will have a very good winter vehicle. Fuel economy figures of 22 City/27 Highway/24 Combined put the Outlander Sport towards the bottom of the class. My average for the week landed around 23.2 mpg. For a subcompact crossover, the Outlander Sport’s ride is pleasant. It glides over bumps and other imperfections. Handling is a mixed affair. Drive the Outlander Sport normally around a corner and it feels composed. Begin to push it and there is a fair amount of body roll. Steering has a very rubbery feel and there is a noticeable dead zone when the wheel is centered. This might be the first review I have done where I have two verdicts on the Outlander Sport. As a whole, the model really needs to be replaced. In many areas, the Outlander Sport significantly trails competitors. It doesn’t help that the as-tested price was $29,310 which makes the Sport a bit of poor value. I know dealers put a lot of cash on the hoods of Outlander Sports to get them moving, which is likely one reason why it is Mitsubishi’s best selling model. But I would rather put my money into a Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, the new Hyundai Kona, and others since they are newer and offer so much more. But I will admit that the Outlander Sport came at a very opportune time. The snowstorm really brought up some of the Outlander Sport’s best qualities, primarily the AWC system and punchy four-cylinder around town. I remember an auto writer once saying that some of the most memorable vehicles are those that are not the best, but can show some bright spots in a difficult situation. The Outlander Sport for me is one of those vehicles. Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Outlander Sport, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Mitsubishi Model: Outlander Sport Trim: SEL Engine: 2.4L MIVEC DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 168 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 167 @ 4,100 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/28/25 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan Base Price: $25,895 As Tested Price: $29,310 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: Touring Package - $2,000.00 Diamond White Pearl - $200.00 Tonneau Cover - $150.00 Carpeted Floormats and Portfolio - $125.00
  4. Mitsubishi's lineup in the U.S. is very thin, but that will change soon as the Japanese automaker introduces the new Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV crossovers. This is part of an effort to boost sales 30 percent for the U.S. by 2020. While the focus for the U.S. will be on crossovers, Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko hinted that other products could be in the pipeline if they leverage their alliance with Nissan-Renault. In an interview with Automotive News, Masuko said the opportunity to launch new products will come after 2020. This is when Mitsubishi is expected to share powertrains and platforms with Nissan-Renault. One of those new products could be a sedan. "But we don't have plans to develop a sedan on our own. It wouldn't be just a rebadge. The design will be completely different. We would like to clearly differentiate our models and show the special characteristics of each company," said Masuko. We're wondering if this sedan could be the replacement for the aging Lancer compact or discontinued Galant sedan. Masuko said there are no concrete plans at this time for the sedan. Automotive News followed this up by asking if there is the possibility of a pickup truck for the U.S. "The pickups we make are not so big. But the American market requires big-size pickup trucks," said Masuko. "We are focused on developing pickups for non-U.S. markets such as [Southeast Asia] and the Middle East. So for the U.S., if there is an opportunity, we might get it from Nissan. We would like to consider if there are opportunities from within the Alliance." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  5. Mitsubishi broke a number of enthusiast's hearts with the end of the Lancer Evolution last year. The good news is that Evolution name is back on a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. The bad news is that it is a crossover. The Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept takes a number of the hot trends (crossovers, electric powertrains, and artificial intelligence) and rolls up into a vehicle that looks more at home in Gundam anime. There are sharp angles, a prominent grille, massive air intakes, wheels pushed into the corners, and a fair number of creases. Mitsubishi didn't supply much information on the e-Evolution's powertrain aside from it featuring three electric motors - one on the front axle and two on the rear axle. This is paired with Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) that provides torque vectoring and active yaw control. There is also a set of electric brake calipers that are said to provide better performance than hydraulic ones. As for the artificial intelligence, Mitsubishi has fitted a system that can interpret the intentions of a driver and adjust vehicle systems to match it. This is done through various sensors around the e-Evolution that monitor various aspects. From there, the vehicle will develop a 'training program' for the driver to enhance their skills. Source: Mitsubishi Press Release is on Page 2 MITSUBISHI MOTORS DEBUTS THE MITSUBISHI E-EVOLUTION CONCEPT THE EMBODIMENT OF MMC’S NEW “DRIVE YOUR AMBITION” BRAND STRATEGY CYPRESS, Calif. – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public on October 27, 2017, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will celebrate the world debut of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT. The all-electric high-performance SUV embodies MMC's new brand strategy under the new "Drive your Ambition" global tagline, a strategy that reflects an adventurous and progressive mindset for inspirational design and product. The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a technical prototype to illustrate the strategic direction of a renewed MMC brand that incorporates the strengths of SUV, EV, and the ability to integrate new systems for a connected mobility customer experience. Under this new ethos, MMC will expand its customer base, leveraging its strong pedigree of driving performance and reliability with breakthrough SUVs and crossovers. As a first-mover in electric vehicles, MMC will expand and accelerate its EV deployment. MMC will push the technological envelope with a tightly integrated system of AI, connectivity, on-board and cloud computing. "Robust & Ingenious": The design philosophy of Mitsubishi Motors MMC has adopted a design philosophy under the title "Robust & Ingenious." "We aim to provide vehicles that fulfill our customers' desires through outstanding design, combined with the power, authenticity and carefully-considered functionality Mitsubishi Motors is known for," said MMC Head of Global Design Tsunehiro Kunimoto. Robust & ingenious, the design language of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT, is a study in contrasts. MMC vehicles of the future are meant to be sincere, tough, and functional. At the same time, they will be clever, resourceful, style-setting and technologically advanced. The design of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT MMC has a long and strong heritage. Think of "Mitsubishi Motors," and proven off-road performance, along with superior 4WD control come to mind. Now, the banner of superior, high-performance 4WD control is carried forward by the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT. The design expresses the readiness to grip the ground with all four-wheels, and the agility of a high performance cross-country tourer. The front face design of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a fresh take on MMC's archetypal DYNAMIC SHIELD design. The black grille is shielded under glass, a subtle hint that this car is a high performance electric vehicle. Protected under the glass, and accentuated by blue lines for emphasis, sit cameras and sensors. Large air intakes are located beneath the headlamps, ready to cool the electric brake calipers. Adding to the vehicle's excellent aerodynamics, the drawn-in air passes jet tailfins on the C-pillars before exiting on either side of the rear bumper. A sharply slanted front windshield and short overhangs give the e- MITSUBISHI EVOLUTION CONCEPT a unique side profile that has not been possible before the arrival of electric propulsion. High ground clearance, short overhangs, strong shoulders, and narrow hips project nimbleness and agility. Muscular tires that protrude at the four corners communicate powerful 4WD torque. Bars running from front to rear along either side of the roof enhance the vehicle's muscular attitude. The large hexagon shape at the rear draws inspiration from the spare tire cover of the quintessential SUV, the legendary Mitsubishi Pajero, a hallmark of off-road driving, and one of the most iconic chapters of MMC's heritage. Inside, the cockpit of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT shows that its designers suddenly had the freedom to go beyond the traditional firewall. The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is powered by three torqueful electric motors, and the absence of a big internal combustion engine under the hood gave designers the space to realize a radically novel cockpit. Its instrument panel appears to float in front of the driver. It is a MMC vehicle, and the instrument panel adopts MMC's trademark horizontal styling, with the focus on information above the axis and on operation below. Acting like a level in an electronic viewfinder, the horizontal instrument panel makes it easier to sense the state of the vehicle during driving – form follows function well down the road. A large flat screen spans the full width of the dashboard. It displays outside conditions, navigation and coaching information. The large screen is flanked by two smaller screens, showing images from front and rear cameras. Full-glass windows provide near unobstructed 360-degree visibility, for a feeling more akin to a jet fighter than a car. The technologies of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT EV system: The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT uses high-torque, high-performance electric motors, fed by a high-capacity battery system to deliver the smooth and powerfully responsive performance that distinguishes EVs from ICE-powered vehicles. The drive battery is located under the floor mid-ship of the vehicle, providing a low center of gravity for the utmost driving stability. 4WD system: For exceptional driving performance, the triple motor 4WD system employs a single motor to drive the front wheels, complemented by a new Dual Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) system that couples two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring AYC unit. All of this is integrated into MMC's unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamic control system. Cornering performance and traction performance are improved. The brakes of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT responsively and precisely control the driving forces with the help of electric calipers that supersede the conventional hydraulic caliper. The effects of the system can be felt and appreciated immediately, even at low speeds when G-forces are low. Whether driving around town, on expressways, or winding roads, the fully electric vehicle always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors driver intent. AI system: The brain of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that augments the driver's capabilities. An array of sensors allows the AI system to instantly read changes in road and traffic conditions, as well as the driver's intent. Seamlessly coordinating driver intent with vehicle performance, the system supports drivers of all abilities. By making it easier and safer to control the vehicle, the motoring experience is brought to a new level. A special coaching function allows the AI system to transfer knowledge to the driver, and to unobtrusively enhance the driving expertise. After building a picture of the driver's skill level, the system constructs a training program that provides advice through voice dialogue and a large dashboard display. As a result, drivers of all abilities quickly experience a vehicle that behaves the way they want it, and soon they find themselves enjoying the driving experience to an even greater degree.
  6. Mitsubishi has unveiled a new three-year strategic plan called 'Drive for Growth'. The Japanese automaker wants to increase unit sales and revenue by 30 percent - about 1.3 million vehicles sold in the case of the former. It also plans on improving profit margins from 0.3 to 6 percent. To pull this off, Mitsubishi will be working on reducing costs in development and manufacturing, along with investing $5.3 billion for new products and revamping key markets. In terms of products, Mitsubishi is planning on launching 11 new and redesigned models over next three years. For the U.S., this means the Outlander PHEV and upcoming Eclipse Cross. The U.S. will also see Mitsubishi work on improving their dealer network. "We will re-energize our dealership network. We are reviewing our incentive plans, both to attract new dealers and to encourage existing ones to achieve better sales," said Trevor Mann, COO of Mitsubishi Motors. The goal is to see a 30 percent increase in sales to 130,000 vehicles by the 2019 fiscal year. For other markets, this is what Mitsubishi is planning, For Southeast Asia (Mitsubishi's largest and most profitable marketplace), a new assembly plant in Indonesia and the launch of Xpander multi-purpose vehicle The focus in Japan is revitalizing their mini-car business after the fuel economy manipulation scandal China will see an expansion in dealers with the goal to sell 220,000 vehicles by 2019 There will be one thing the U.S. will be missing out from Mitsubishi. It was expected that the tie-up with Nissan that begun last year would provide some help for the U.S. But according to Automotive News, Mitsubishi will be going on its own for this region. There are three reasons for this; antitrust concerns between the two companies, vehicles using common engines and platforms not being ready, and Mitsubishi wanting to build the brand back up on their own strengths. Source: Mitsubishi Motors, Automotive News (Subscription Required) Press Release is on Page 2 MITSUBISHI MOTORS LAUNCHES ‘DRIVE FOR GROWTH’ PLAN TO INCREASE VOLUMES, REVENUES AND PROFITABILITY Three-year plan targets more than 30 percent increase in unit sales and revenues Operating profit margin to reach 6 percent or more Capital expenditure and R&D investment to increase to more than 600 billion yen over the three-year period Product renewal to accelerate with launch of six new models including Eclipse Cross SUV Market expansion planned in ASEAN, US and China TOKYO, Japan – Mitsubishi Motors today launched "Drive for Growth," a three-year strategic plan to deliver sustained and profitable growth, targeting an increase of more than 30% in both annual unit sales to 1.3 million vehicles and in revenues to 2.5 trillion yen. Under the plan, Mitsubishi Motors aims to achieve an operating profit margin of 6% or more by the end of fiscal 2019, up from 0.3% in fiscal 2016. The plan combines a product renewal program with targeted market expansion and operating efficiency improvements. Osamu Masuko, Mitsubishi Motors chief executive, said: "Drive for Growth is a new roadmap for Mitsubishi Motors. We will rebuild trust in our company as our highest priority, successfully launch new vehicles, and achieve a V-shaped financial recovery. These will be the foundations for our future sustainable growth, which will involve increased capital expenditure and product development spending." The Drive for Growth plan involves a 60% increase in annual capital expenditure to 137 billion yen in fiscal 2019 – lifting spending as a proportion of sales to 5.5% a year. R&D expenses will rise by 50% to 133 billion yen over the same period. In total, this will amount to more than 600 billion yen in investments. Even with these increases, Mitsubishi Motors will maintain financial discipline and generate positive free cash flow during the period. The company intends to establish a competitive dividend policy comparable to those of other Japanese automotive manufacturers. As part of its investment drive, Mitsubishi Motors plans to strengthen its four-wheel drive SUVs and pick-ups, and to launch 11 models including the XPANDER and Eclipse Cross. The product renewal program will coincide with a market expansion drive in the ASEAN region, Oceania, United States, China and Japan. Mr. Masuko said: "This is an ambitious program to maximize our strengths in growing product segments, especially four-wheel drive, and to pursue growth in markets where our brand has strong potential, particularly the ASEAN region. This growth program will also involve an efficient and disciplined operating structure as we continue to manage costs." Under Drive for Growth, Mitsubishi Motors is targeting a market share of 10% in ASEAN. Sales activities will be reinforced in the US. The company's presence in China will be strengthened with the introduction of models such as the Outlander and Eclipse Cross. And the company will invest in its sales network and product portfolio to return to profitability in Japan by the end of the plan. The strategic plan is based on three strategic initiatives: Product renewal: During the period of the plan, Mitsubishi Motors will launch 11 new models, of which six will be entirely new model changes – averaging two each year – while the remainder will be important updates of existing vehicles. By the end of the plan, the company expects its five best-selling global models consisting of SUV, 4WD, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) to account for 70% of total sales volume. Reflecting the shift to lower emission models, the company also announced that it plans to provide electrified solutions across its core model range including an EV kei car from 2020. Focus on core markets to drive revenue growth: This year's opening of a new assembly plant in Indonesia, and the recent launch of the XPANDER multi-purpose vehicle, will drive the growth of the ASEAN business, the group's largest and most profitable operation. ASEAN volumes are expected to rise from 206,000 units a year to 310,000 units a year in 2019. Mitsubishi Motors will also launch new models to assist the turnaround of its important mini-car business in Japan. In the US, the company will improve its dealership networks, targeting a 30% increase in unit sales to 130,000 units in fiscal 2019. In China, Mitsubishi Motors will double the number of dealerships and more than double sales to 220,000 units in fiscal 2019. Cost Optimization: Mitsubishi Motors will tightly manage production costs, with a target to reduce monozukuri costs by 1.3% per year, in spite of large investments in R&D. Alongside cost management, the company will benefit from growing synergies from its membership of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Mitsubishi Motors is seeking synergies totaling more than 100 billion yen over the course of the plan, with the bulk of these to come from efficiencies in procurement and costs avoided in R&D. Mitsubishi Motors will contribute its expertise in PHEV technology, its capabilities in SUVs and pick-ups, and market strengths in the ASEAN region to the wider synergy program of the Alliance, which aims to double annualized synergies to more than 10 billion euros by the end of 2022. "We are refreshing our product line-up, investing in R&D and targeting core market growth," added Mr. Masuko. "Drive for Growth will enable us to continue the transformation of the company over the next three years."
  7. There are a small group of people who want Mitsubishi to do a follow-up to the Lancer Evolution. The good news is that Mitsubishi is considering it. The bad news is that it will be awhile as the company has some other issues it needs to work out. According to Motoring, Mitsubishi global boss Trevor Mann said a performance model was on the table for future products. “In terms of the brand, I think it would be interesting to bring something back that’s a bit more sporty in the future. You’ll have to wait and see what that is.” Those who are hoping for another performance sedan will be disappointed as Mann said it would likely come in the form of an SUV, something Mitsubishi has said before. Also, it will be awhile before this product could show up. “I would say [a new performance model] it is long-term rather than mid-term,” Mann said. “It will be between three years and six years.” Mann also hinted that Mitsubishi was considering a return to motorsports. The company has a long and storied history with various models competing in the World Rally Championship and Dakar Rally. “Motorsport is something that we’ve talked about a lot recently, and because of our heritage it’s something that we’ve got to consider,” said Mann. “It goes with the brand and it’s something that we’ve got the technology in and our engineers know what to do. It’s something we need to consider again.” Source: Motoring Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
  8. Mitsubishi is planning to announce a blueprint on how it plans to rebuild itself in September, but the company's Chief Operating Officer Trevor Mann dropped some breadcrumbs of what could be included. Speaking with Automotive News, Mann explained that the United States, China and Southeast Asia would play key roles in Mitsubishi's recovery. For the U.S., Mann hinted that Mitsubishi could tap help from Nissan or Renault on a new sedan (our guess would be compact or midsize). There is also talk about a pickup using a platform from Nissan. "It's something that we should look at. As we go forward and start to have common platforms, an alliance pickup platform would be quite an appropriate thing for us to do," said Mann. Mitsubishi may also consider building vehicles in the U.S., possibly piggybacking off a Nissan plant. Last year, Mitsubishi closed down their Normal, Illinois plant as it was unable to find a buyer for it. But these ideas are for the future. In the near future, Mann said Mitsubishi will focus on their lineup of crossovers in an effort to take advantage of growing demand for these vehicles. "The answer to your prayers is not just adding nameplates. You've got to make sure the nameplates you've got are working for you. And we've got scope for improvement." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  9. We have been wondering what kind of impact the Mitsubishi and Nissan alliance would bring to the table. According to a report from Automotive News, it looks like delays for a couple of key products for the diamond star brand. Speaking with supplier sources, Mitsubishi has pushed back the redesigns of the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers. Originally, Mitsubishi was planning to launch the next Outlander "in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019", while the Outlander Sport would follow a year later. Now, the Outlander has been pushed back to late 2019 or 2020 and the Sport to after 2020. The delay is due to a review being undertaken by Mitsubishi and Nissan to search for a way to share architecture and parts with the Rogue and Rogue Sport. According to sources, the goal is to "commonize underpinnings and components" to save money while keeping an outer identity distinct to each brand. Mitsubishi confirmed the review but declined to comment on any delays. This delay could be a big blow for Mitsubishi's dealers in the U.S. who have been clamoring for new products. Joe Bizzarro, chairman of Mitsubishi's national dealer advisory board told Automotive News that no such delay was discussed during a meeting with dealers earlier this year - leading us to suspect this delay has come up recently. Dealers have yet to be notified about this delay. Right now, the only new product destined for Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers is the upcoming Eclipse Sport due in early 2018. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  10. Mitsubishi has revealed their showing for the Geneva Motor Show today called the Eclipse Cross. Yes, the Eclipse name which is best known for Mitsubishi's iconic sports coupe from the early 90's has returned for a crossover. The Eclipse Cross might be the most stylish vehicle to come out of Mitsubishi in quite awhile. The front end is similar to the Outlander crossover with the distinctive grille, narrow headlights, and a chiseled bumper. The rest of the Ecllipse Cross' design is cribbed from the XR-PHEV II Concept from a few years back - raked rear hatch and a crease running along the side. The Eclipse Cross will slot between the Outlander and Outlander Sport. It should be noted that the Outlander Sport is within an inch or two of the Eclipse Cross in overall size - something that will be addressed when the a new and smaller Outlander Sport is introduced. The interior features a uniquely styled center stack with an infotainment screen on top. There also appears to be a pop-up screen for the heads-up display - something akin to Mazda. In Europe, the Eclipse Cross will be available with two engines; a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder and a 2.2L turbodiesel four-cylinder. The 1.5L is connected to a CVT, while the diesel gets an eight-speed automatic. No mention was made as to what engine will come to the U.S., but it would be a safe bet that the 1.5L will be the one. All-wheel drive will be standard for both engines. Mitsubishi will launch the Eclipse Cross in Europe this fall, with other markets to follow thereafter. Source: Mitsubishi Press Release is on Page 2 GLOBAL PREMIERE OF MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS AT THE GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 2017 CIRENCESTER – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will debut the all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on 7 March 2017 (Hall 2, 10:15 UK Time). The all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will join MMC’s global line-up of 4X4 and SUV vehicles - including the Mitsubishi ASX compact SUV, Outlander mid-size SUVs – and is due to go sale in the UK early in 2018. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will compete in the C-SUV segment and will appeal to style-conscious drivers its sharp coupé looks and muscular SUV stance, as well as its advanced levels of connectivity and all-wheel control technology which delivers an enjoyable, reassuring feel that elevates the driving experience. Characteristic Dynamic Design The sharp and dynamic Mitsubishi SUV coupe form is distinguished by its wedge profile with its bold beltline and strong character line; a forward raked rear window; the sharply truncated rear gate and short overhang; and muscular wings that contribute to an athletic appearance. The front design of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross features MMC’s trademark Dynamic Shield concept, which refers to the protective shield shape visually formed by the black central area and highlighted by bold brightwork on either side of the grill. Distinctive auxiliary lamps are recessed deep in the front fascia adding drama and sophistication to the SUV’s front-on appearance. At the rear, the high-mounted, stretched rear lamps divide the rear window into eye-catching upper and lower segments and when illuminated the tubular LED and central LED brake lights form a single bar of light running across the tail, giving the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross a broad and unmistakable appearance from the rear. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross also heralds the arrival of a new red body colour. The standard coating is layered with semi-transparent red and clear coating, and this creates high levels of colour saturation with a highly-refined finish. Inside, the new SUV’s dashboard is shaped using horizontal lines, with silver metal frames and a black and silver monotone color scheme helping create a sense of refinement that is both dynamic and sporty. With its table-like infotainment display and new Head Up Display, the futuristic cockpit inspires a sense of excitement for the driver. For maximum comfort and flexibility, the rear seat features a 60:40 split with long slide-and-recline adjustment. Connectivity that inspires new adventures The Eclipse Cross is fitted with the Smartphone Link Display Audio system, a Touchpad Controller and Head Up Display. Together they allow the driver to access different types of information conveniently and safely. Smartphone Link Display Audio supports Apple CarPlay*1, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone*1 in the car. The driver can use Siri*4 or the Smartphone Link Display Audio’s touch screen to receive directions optimised for traffic conditions, make and receive calls, access text messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road. Smartphone Link Display Audio also supports the Android AutoTM*2 which provides voice-controlled operation of Google MapsTM,*2 Google PlayTM*4 music and other apps. The Touchpad Controller can operate audio functions like radio, as well as Apple CarPlay. Placing the Touchpad Controller in the centre console allows the driver to easily operate the Smartphone Link Display Audio. The Head Up Display unit makes driving safer by presenting vehicle speed, data from the active safety systems and other necessary information that minimises eye movement and provides instant readability. Enjoyable and stable driving dynamics with all-wheel control technology Eclipse Cross uses an electronically-controlled 4WD system that feeds the optimum amount of torque to the rear wheels depending on the driving situation and the road surface. MMC’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system incorporates brake-activated AYC*3. The addition of a three-point strut tower brace at the front and the strategic use of structural bonding at the rear in particular have increased body rigidity. The stronger body and detail optimisation of the suspension ensure precise handling and superior vehicle stability. Eclipse Cross offers two powertrains that deliver an outstanding balance of power, performance and efficiency. The new 1.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine is available with a new CVT transmission with 8-speed Sport Mode manual override, while MMC’s proven 2.2-litre common rail direct-injection turbocharged diesel engine is modified specifically for Eclipse Cross is fitted with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is due to go on sale in the UK early in 2018 with pricing and final UK specification to be announced closer to its on-sale date.
  11. It has been quite awhile since we have reported on an all-new model from Mitsubishi. But that will be changing in March as the Japanese automaker will debut a new crossover that will slot between the Outlander Sport and Outlander. The new model looks very familiar to the XR-PHEV and XR-PHEV II concepts with a sharply raked roofline and tailgate, bold character line along the side, and headlights extending to the fenders. For Europe, we're expecting a range of gas and diesel engines. The U.S. version will get a turbocharged four-cylinder according to Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Don Swearingen to Motor1 earlier this month. We'll have more details on Mitsubishi's new crossover when it debuts at the Geneva Motor Show. Source: Mitsubishi, Motor1 Press Release is on Page 2 All-New Mitsubishi SUV to Debut At 2017 Geneva Motor Show The forthcoming 2017 Geneva Motor Show marks a turning point for Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) with the world premiere of its latest SUV - the first of a new generation of Mitsubishi Motors vehicles. With its striking design, the sporty, coupe-like SUV will line up alongside the Mitsubishi ASX and Mitsubishi Outlander to broaden the brand’s model range and introduce a whole new audience to Mitsubishi Motors, a name long associated with stylish, tough and extremely capable SUVs and 4X4s. Sharper in its expression than a conventional coupe, this new, compact SUV will feature highly chamfered contours with a wedge-shaped belt line and a distinctive V-line in the rear quarter stemming from the forward-slanted C-pillar and the chunky, muscular rear fenders. The all-new Mitsubishi SUV will make its global debut on the Mitsubishi stand at the Geneva Motor Show (Hall 2, Stand 2130) on March 7 2017.
  12. There will be one less compact car on sale come August. Motor1 has learned from Mitsubishi Motors North America’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Don Swearingen that production of the Lancer compact sedan will end this August. Of course. you are probably saying to yourself that Mitsubishi was still building the Lancer?! The answer is yes. Will Mitsubishi have a replacement for the Lancer, especially considering the partnership with Nissan? Swearingen said no. He told Autoblog that the sedan marketplace is shrinking and the Japanese needs to focus on products that make them money. Hence why they are focusing on crossovers with a new model that is slated to slot between the Outlander Sport and Outlander due later this year. The Lancer was never a big seller for Mitsubishi. Its best year was back in 2002 when the company moved 69,000 Lancers. In 2016, Mitsubishi only sold 14,304 Lancers. Source: Motor1, Autoblog
  13. Only a few months after Nissan announced it would buy a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, the deal is now official. Nissan will pay 237 billion yen (about $2.29 billion) to purchase a 34 percent stake into Mitsubishi. As part of this deal, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become Chairman of the Board. Osamu Masuko will remain Mitsubishi Motors CEO and President. "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder. As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance," said Masuko in a statement. With Ghosn becoming chairman at a third company (he also holds the role at Nissan and Renault), he has appointed Nissan Vice Chairman and Chief Competition Officer Hiroto Saikawa as his co-CEO at Nissan. The two companies are planning to collaborate on joint purchasing, localization, factory sharing, and using common vehicle platforms. Ghosn says this will help bring savings totaling $231 million next year and rising the year after. "We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust. This is a priority as we pursue the synergies and growth potential of our enlarged relationship," said Ghosn. Source: Mitsubishi Motors, Automotive News (Subscription Required) Press Release is on Page 2 Mitsubishi Motors Joins Renault-Nissan Alliance MMC to receive strategic, operational and management support from Nissan Synergy benefits to enhance MMC profit margins and earnings per share Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chairman and CEO, named chairman-elect of MMC New role created of Director for Global Risk Control Tokyo , October 20 , 2016 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announces that Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has become its largest shareholder after completing the purchase of 34% of MMC-issued stock for 237 billion JPY. As part of Nissan's strategic investment, MMC will become a full member of the 17-year strong global alliance between Nissan and Renault – paving the way for synergies to enhance profit margins and earnings per share. Nissan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has been nominated to become chairman of the Board. Ghosn will be joined by three other Nissan nominated directors, including Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan's former executive vice president of research and development, who joined MMC earlier this year as head of development. The other nominees are Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan chief sustainability officer and head of global external affairs, and Hiroshi Karube, Nissan global controller and global asset manager. MMC President and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko requested that Nissan also provide a senior executive to join the company's executive committee to bolster MMC's management. Trevor Mann, currently Chief Performance Officer of Nissan, will become Chief Operating Officer of MMC. "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder," said Masuko. "As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance." MMC will appoint a new role of director for global risk control to report directly to the chief executive officer, who will oversee compliance and risk control. This director will regularly report to the board on moves to enhance governance at MMC. The three largest institutional shareholders in MMC – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ – have welcomed Nissan's investment and pledged their support for its board nominees. Moving forward, these three Mitsubishi institutional shareholders together with Nissan will maintain a more than 51 percent of the share capital. Nissan and MMC will begin cooperating on a wide-ranging synergy program, building on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies. The two companies have identified a number of valuable synergies in areas including: - Joint purchasing cost-reduction - Deeper localization in operations around the world - Joint plant utilization - Common vehicle platforms - Technology sharing - Cooperation in emerging and developed markets; and - The use of the Nissan Sales Finance Company to serve MMC customers in any market where mutually beneficial. The partnership is expected to generate significant recurring synergies for MMC, equivalent to a 1 percentage point increase in operating profit margin in fiscal year 2017, 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2018, and more than 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2019. The projected synergies are also forecasted to enhance MMC earnings per share in fiscal year 2017 by 12 yen per share, and by 20 yen per share in fiscal year 2018. Ghosn said: "The expanded Alliance will be one of the largest automotive groups in the world, with annual sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016. The addition of Mitsubishi Motors will build on the entrepreneurial spirit and management cooperation that has characterized our alliance with Renault for 17 years. I am confident this will benefit all stakeholders."
  14. Progress seems to be going on with Nissan taking a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors. Japanese business paper The Nikkei reports that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors once the deal is set. Sources tell the Nikkei that current chairman and president Osamu Masuko has been asked to stay on as president. When reached for comment, spokespeople at Mitsubishi and Nissan declined to comment. However, Masuko has confirmed that he was asked to stay on as president by Ghosn. Masuko went on to say that this would be discussed further tomorrow. Nissan is planning to send four of its directors, including Ghosn to Mitsubishi Motors to right the ship after it was revealed that a number of Mitsubishi vehicles had false fuel economy figures. Ghosn has a track record of bringing beleaguered companies to full heath - Renault in the 1990s and Nissan in the early 2000s. Some analysts believe this is right move. "This is a man who patched up Renault in the 1990s, and he did a lot for Nissan in the 2000s, so I'm sure he looks at Mitsubishi Motors as a new challenge," said CLSA analyst Christopher Richter to Reuters. "He's a turnaround artist. This is what he does best," said Richter. Ghosn at the helm of Mitsubishi Motors' board would "remove an enormous burden from the Mitsubishi group companies." “It’s easier for him to do things he did at Nissan, such as combining platforms, cutting costs and even closing plants. In order to implement such massive restructuring, you need someone as powerful as Ghosn to get things going,” said Koji Endo, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at SBI Securities Co to Bloomberg. Others aren't too keen. “I think he has enough work to be done at both Renault and Nissan. He should also spend all his time in these two companies rather than taking on another job in Japan,” said Hans-Peter Wodniok, a Frankfurt-based analyst with AlphaValue. Source: Nikkei, (2), Reuters, Bloomberg

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