Currency Issues Kill Upcoming Mitsubishi Midsize Sedan

Feb 03, 2015 09:00 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma


As the Korean won rises against the American dollar and the Japanese yen, Mitsubishi has decided to hold off on exporting a midsize sedan to dealerships in the United States.

The automaker halted the plan to send a Korea-built sedan to U.S. dealers after a feasibility study had a negative outcome, the main issue being the Korean won's sudden appreciation, Automotive News reported.

The midsize model that U.S. dealers have been expecting would have been built at the Renault-Nissan Alliance assembly plant in South Korea, according to the deal between Mitsubishi and the Renault-Nissan Alliance that was announced in 2013. Last week, a senior executive said that the plan for the midsize sedan had stalled.

Mitsubishi is considering a plan B to bring a sedan that will boost its lineup, a spokesman told Automotive News. The Tokyo, Japan-headquartered automaker hasn't had a midsize sedan offering since the Galant was discontinued in 2012.

Mitsubishi is still technically offering a sedan in North America. Re-badged under the Dodge marquee, a model that is basically a revisitation of the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 sedan is available in Mexico as the 2015 Dodge Attitude. It competes with the Toyota Yaris and the Ford Fiesta. 

The company cut the Galant and two other models that were selling poorly in order to focus on compact offerings, a spokesman told the New York Times Wheels blog in 2011.  

Mitsubishi is doing well overall in the U.S., with dealers expecting a refreshed Outlander in July and a 2016 Lancer in the last quarter. Other upcoming products are a new Mirage subcompact scheduled to arrive sometime in spring 2016, followed by a Mirage sedan and plug-in hybrid Outlander in the second quarter of next year.

2014, which was a stellar year for auto sales across the industry, saw Mitsubishi sales jump 25 percent to 77,643 vehicles sold. The sales boost was mostly thanks to the popularity of the Outlander Sport and the Mirage.  

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