Tokyo, Japan - As we reported on Monday, Mitsubishi - like most car companies in this post-Covid world - is in a spot of trouble at the moment. It posted a 176 billion yen (R28bn) loss for April-June, and has forecast more red ink for the fiscal year.
However, the Japanese carmaker does have a sensible recovery plan in place, and that entails rationalising its model range to what it calls a “small but beautiful” line-up, as well as putting a greater focus on the ASEAN region where it is currently successful. This means a gradual exit from regions such as Europe, although markets such as those in Africa, South America and the Middle East will still form a “second pillar” of business development after the ASEAN region.
Key to Mitsubishi’s new strategy will be the leveraging of resources from within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, meaning that it will save on development costs by sharing platforms and technologies with its two partners.
On the product front, Mitsubishi will reportedly say goodbye to the Pajero SUV, although there are 11 new products planned for the next three years.
These include a brand new Outlander SUV, planned for 2021, and which will likely share its genes with the new Nissan X-Trail, and as before there will be a plug-in hybrid version on offer.
Moving to 2022, Mitsubishi plans to launch a new Triton bakkie, which could be paired with the Nissan Navara, while 2023 will see the introduction of a new Pajero Sport as well as a redesigned XPander MPV. Mitsubishi is also promising two other ‘all-new models’ for 2023, although no other details are being disclosed for now. Dare we suggest there might be a successor to the ASX somewhere in that mix…
New models for South Africa
While none of these have been confirmed for the South African market as yet (although they are certainly likely contenders) Mitsubishi is planning to introduce two new models later in 2020, in the form of the XPander MPV crossover and a facelifted Pajero Sport. The facelifted Mirage budget hatch is also said to be under consideration, although pricing factors could be holding it back amid the current rand weakness.