New Mitsubishi Crossover Coming to the North American Market in 2017

Since SUVs and crossovers of all kinds seem to be the most successful types of vehicles all over the world at the moment, Mitsubishi is considering adding a new such model to its North American range.
Mitsubishi eX Concept 1 photo
Photo: Mitsubishi
The new model is expected to slot in between the Outlander and the Outlander Sport (also known as ASX on other markets). This bracketing means that the new vehicle should be a sub-compact SUV, but in terms of pricing there isn’t much room to juggle with between the existing models, with only $3,400 separating their base prices.

According to Mitsubishi CEO, Osamu Masuko, the new crossover will borrow heavily from the eX Concept exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show, but there’s no word on whether this inspiration will go beyond exterior design and into the show car’s electric powertrain or not. Most likely, the new car will only come with a hybrid propulsion system first, as Mitsubishi is in need of bigger sales figures and not an image vector.

The Japanese brand only sells five models on American soil - the Outlander and Outlander Sport, the Lancer (EVO included), the i-MIEV and the Mirage small hatchback. With a pretty expensive small electric car and another small city vehicle that seems a little out of place, the Mitsubishi lineup basically consists of just three models, and one of them - the Lancer - is beginning to show its age.

The Outlander is growing in size, while the Outlander Sport is getting smaller, so it opens a space for the new SUV,” said Masuko while speaking to Automotive News. “We need something to fit in between.

Mitsubishi is well aware of the gaps that exist in its available range and is looking for quick solutions. A deal with Nissan-Renault to sell a rebadged mid-sized sedan under the Mitsubishi brand in the US broke down, so the Japanese are on their own now.

Despite the fact that it is expecting a double digit sales growth compared to the previous year, Mitsubishi has announced it will be closing down its plant in Illinois where it was producing the Outlander Sport due to costs and slow sales.

Whether the mall crossover will prove the right move remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Mitsubishi needs to act now if it wants to remain a global player, as its lineup is getting old and so is the company’s perceived image.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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