Mitsubishi Motor Corp. will still focus on the crossover market in the Unites States while eliminating the Lancer compress sedan, a former centerpiece in the brand's lineup, Mitsubishi executives stated in a media gathering held at Detroit Auto Show on Thursday. The company already announced that they will not be joining the Detroit Auto Show this year.
Executive vice president at Mitsubishi Motors North America, Don Swearingen said that the Lancer production will be ending this August of 2017. According to Automotive News Data Center, Mitsubishi only sold 14,304 Lancers in the U.S. last year, a major decrease of 19 percent. The Lancer Evolution was discontinued in 2015 despite its high performance.
Lancer being shutdown is not a downfall for Mitsubishi, as crossovers will continue to lift the company's name in the United States. The company's Outlander Sport lead the way making 33,067 units sold in 2016, decreased by 11 percent, and then followed by the Outlander, which made US deliveries of 26, 576, an increase of 40 percent in 2016.
Both crossovers totaled a 65 percent of the brand's U.S. sales last year. Mitsubishi's U.S sales increased up by 1 percent for the year, to 96,267. It was the company's fourth straight year of sales.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi announced that the Outlander and Outlander Sport will be redesigned this 2017 for a fresh start. For the Outlander, it is set to accept more reserve facilities, while the Outlander Sport will be getting some upgrades to a "dynamic shield" front end pattern styling of a car.
In addition, Swearingen also confirmed that Mitsubishi will be launching an all-new-compress crossover by 2018. The new crossover will be equipped with a turbocharged engine and comes with a user accessible technology, including a head-up display. Swearingen said, "Frankly, in my opinion from exam pushing a new vehicle, it will be the best automobile Mitsubishi has ever produced."
The Outlander will get bigger in breadth and length, while the Outlander Sport will be designed a little smaller. Both the new crossover will fit between existent nameplates.
Furthermore, Mitsubishi just had a recent alliance with Nissan Motor Co. and Renault, but the automakers made it clear that they are still competitors even though they are using the same platform. Nissan just took a determining 33.4 percent in Mitsubishi effective October 20. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn became Mitsubishi's chairman in December.