Mitsubishi Not Dead Yet: Nissan Takes Control

Discussion in 'Auto News' started by YSSMAN, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. YSSMAN

    YSSMAN Premium

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    [​IMG]

    Mitsubishi boss confirms new Mirage US-bound : Autoblog

    Well, I'd consider this a relative surprise. With sales tanking in the US, and their only real boon being the Outlander and the Evolution, Mitsubishi is planning on bringing the new Mirage to the US... A brand name that hasn't been seen in the US since 2002. Although it was a model designation that certainly didn't hold muster, a highly competitive B-Segment might be the right way to re-invigorate sales.

    Maybe.

    Based on what I can gather, the Thai-built car is taking a Nissan-style approach to affordable motoring which means that, more than likely, you'll get a lower-rent interior with some decent standard equipment at a bargain basement price. The top-tier engine, however, is a three-cylinder unit with less than 80 BHP on tap and a CVT transmission. I'm not sold on that being something that people would grab onto in the US, and my only assumption would be that Mitsubishi would find a way to get a four-cylinder from the current Colt into one of these.

    Still, we've got a market that is dominated with a bunch of clever vehicles. From the current (and recently face-lifted) Ford Fiesta, to the enthusiast favorite Mazda 2, the ever-so-practical Honda Fit, and the shockingly good Chevrolet Sonic. The Mitsubishi better be good to make a name for itself. As much as Nissan likes to tout that the Versa is the cheapest entry into the market, it is nowhere near as good as it's competitors, absurdly large rear seat and cheap price be damned. Even worse, the resale value of these cars will likely be abysmal. I couldn't imagine picking one up brand new to see their value nearly halved within two years.

    Any takers on this? Would this make you want to get into a Mitsubishi again?
     
  2. Tornado

    Tornado

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    In this age where a small car doesn't necessarily need to be a cheaply made car and perceptions are finally changing to match that in the face of fantastically high quality vehicles from Honda, Mazda, and even Fiat again; it is nice (?) that Mitsubishi is so dedicated to keeping that Geo Metro crapbox spirit alive.


    Godspeed, Mitsu. Godspeed.
     
  3. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    Toronado basically just said what I wanted to say, only more eloquently.
     
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  4. 1241Penguin

    1241Penguin Premium

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    Hope they don't kill off the Evolution...

    I hope that there is some sort of special area in which this car is good at, otherwise, there are many other alternatives to this, so I can't see this helping Mitsubishi too much.
     
  5. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    The Evolution has been killed off actually.
     
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  6. Tornado

    Tornado

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    I'm pretty sure that product development dude who said that a couple years ago backtracked when it became clear that the cars they were going to bank so much of their future image on were ones that no one actually wanted (they sold less than 40 of them in Australia over two years).



    Next Evo is supposed to be a hybrid now, but the X is still on sale I'm pretty sure.
     
  7. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    I thought the Evo X model year 2013 was cancelled?
     
  8. a6m5

    a6m5 Premium

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    I'm so used to hearing Evo or LanEvo, I thought "Evolution" was some new car I had never heard of! :crazy: They are cool cars. I hope they never get discontinued!

    As for this new Mirage, it's not bad, but it also doesn't do anything for me, as far as the design goes. Selling Mitsubishi, also just about any cars in the U.S., it's about strong dealer network. I somehow doubt Mitsubishi have one.

    Bottom line, I don't think Mitsubishi has much chance of success until they have new leadership and financial flexibility. They lost the U.S. market like decade ago(or more). It's gonna take more than handful of "OK" to "neat" cars.
     
  9. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    Mitsubishi suffers from similar problems in the UK. I'm fairly sure that the Shogun and L200 are propping them up here.

    Both, in fairness, are fairly good at what they do. The Shogun is massive by UK standards, seemingly fairly reliable, and well-equipped. The L200 ditto, and for many it doesn't matter that it's rather expensive as anyone buying it on their "business" gets the 20% VAT knocked off.

    Colts and Lancers are very thin on the ground though. And I've not seen many Outlanders recently either, but there's a new one of those due early next year.

    The remaining model, the ASX (you guys know it as the Outlander Sport) is actually genuinely a good car. Manages to both ride and handle well, the diesel model (world's first diesel with variable valve timing) has plenty of punch (160hp I think, and loads of torque) yet still gets quite close to its quoted fuel economy even in regular, non-eco driving, it looks okay from most angles, and is as practical as you'd hope from a crossover.

    The only trouble is, nobody seems to buy them.
     
  10. Turtle

    Turtle

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    I don't think many people in America would buy a car with three cylinders and only 80 horsepower. The styling is bland as well. I think if Mitsubishi is to stand a chance, they need something else other than this. Only time will tell though.

    ~Turtle [​IMG]
     
  11. YSSMAN

    YSSMAN Premium

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    When I see a brand-new Mitsubishi that isn't an Evolution, it's generally more special than seeing something that costs thrice as much. It's like, "who's the idiot who thought this was a good idea? I want to meet him!"

    Now that I think about it, it's been years since I've seen a Mitsubishi commercial on television. I don't think I could tell you the last time I saw a print or billboard advertisement. I have no idea what their brand strategy is, or who they're propping themselves up against in the market.

    I find it pretty interesting that they're taking a car that was designed almost entirely for the SE Asian market and bringing it to the US. The exterior is definitely attractive enough to contend in a crowded segment, the interior seems to be a little bit better than what Nissan has to offer in the Versa, but maybe not quite as nice as the Fiesta or Sonic.

    Ditch the three-cylinder engine, give it a manual, and I'd definitely give it a shot.



    ...Now that I think about it, this is the second vehicle designed for the SE Asian market that's coming to the US. The new Chevrolet Colorado will be the first to arrive in the not-too-distant future.
     
  12. RocZX

    RocZX Premium

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    Mitsubishi also plans to bring the redesigned Outlander to help with sales Source

    [​IMG]




    I don't see the Mirage or the new Outlander helping them that much, if they want to boost sales and want people to buy their cars they should consider making a RWD sports car, 2 door lightweight car that could compete with the 86/FR-S/BRZ.
     
  13. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    Nope, still truckin'.

    *cough*Starion*cough*
     
  14. Tornado

    Tornado

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    Wouldn't really help them. Toyota's problem was that they were making really nice cars that were nothing more than appliances, so pulling people back with an enthusiast's car can really help.



    Mitsubishi wasn't making particularly good cars 10 years ago (with a couple exceptions), and they haven't really gotten any better since. They need to improve the bread and butter cars first before relying on gimmicks to get attention.
     
  15. a6m5

    a6m5 Premium

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    I love that car, but that is an unbelievably obscure name. I think they'll have better luck with the "Eclipse". :lol:
     
  16. Tornado

    Tornado

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    Can and Driver just had an article on Mitsu, asking the question I've been wondering for half a decade: All those cars Mitsu makes that would sell well in America because they are (or at least seem to be from what I've heard) legitimately good. The current Montero. The Montero Sport. The L200.



    Why don't they even try to sell them here? The former two even had name recognition that they threw away for cars that... weren't any better and have sold a lot worse.
     
  17. R1600Turbo

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    Eclipse wouldn't be a good 86 fighter.

    They should have put a de-tuned EVO X engine/drivetrain in the Eclipse and gave us another GSX. Maybe the Eclipse would still be around if they had...
     
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  18. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    I think the issue that hurts Mitsu motors is that they are just a small part of the entire Mitsu zaibatsu. It seems the management of a conglomerate does not know how to market quality cars.
     
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  19. a6m5

    a6m5 Premium

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    Look at you throwing fancy Japanese words. :lol:

    I always wondered about ginormous conglomerate like Mitsubishi Zaibatsu/Group putting so little support, or effort into their automotive company. It was as though they entered the market to lose every single year, and I think they've been in the game since something like the 70's?

    They've seen some success, but they are few & far between. Quality certainly hasn't been their strength, but I think they clearly lack long term vision, also leadership.
     
  20. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    Lol I like to expand my vocabulary a6.:tup:
     
  21. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    The trouble is that the bread and butter stuff at the moment is only "okay". Not bad, but really not great either. The aforementioned Outlander Sport is actually pretty good by my reckoning, although of course you guys don't get the diesel out there. It's a bit dull to look at, but rides and handles well and it's pretty comfortable too.

    But then, in the UK at least I don't think I've ever seen it advertised. Certainly not on the scale of some of its rivals (Nissan Qashqai for example). I strongly suspect that in the UK, Mitsubishi more or less relies on repeat sales from its old customers. And that can only really last for so long...
     
  22. RocZX

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    Mitsubishi has confirmed that they will being using the 1.2L 3 cylinder engine in the US for the Mirage. It's not confirmed they will be using the Mirage nameplate on the car. The US spec car will be unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto show in April and go on sale in the fall of 2013.
    CarandDriver
     
  23. YSSMAN

    YSSMAN Premium

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    That's a bold move by Mitsubishi, only 79 BHP in a decidedly small car. It could work, but the price would need to be right. It's going to be knocking around with the Spark and Versa on the bottom of the barrel, and while there is definitely room down there, I can't imagine it'll be that profitable for Mitsubishi.
     
  24. Tornado

    Tornado

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    Almost as bold as when GM did the same thing 20 years ago, except at the time all entry level cars were terrible so this won't have the same excuse.

    This thing better pull some truly epic MPG and cost sub-10 grand if they don't want it to be laughed out.
     
  25. Beeblebrox237

    Beeblebrox237 Premium

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    This car had better be cheap. However, the formula could work really well, looking at the Versa. It may skimp a bit on quality, but it's selling really well.
     
  26. hawkeye122

    hawkeye122

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    I don't understand what would possess someone to buy a $10,000 Mitsubishi... whatever that is, instead of an $8000 used Ford Focus. Or any other number of used, somewhat reliable cars for less that 10 Grand. Same goes for pretty much that entire segment.

    I guess some people would prefer to run in cheap plastic boxes instead of a slightly-older, decent car.

    My Grandmother owned a Mirage,
    (Not my picture, and hers was Green)
    [​IMG]

    I recall it being acutely uncomfortable, had a crap stereo, no power, a horrible ride, and only got 30-ish MPG. And I recall her paying something like $18,000 for it brand new. A few months ago, my mate bought an Impreza STi for that money. I just still don't grasp it... Maybe I'll make a separate thread for it.
     
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  27. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    My brother had a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage LS coupe. Got it for $15,000 brand new, as my parents won't stomach getting the $23,000 Integra Type R that my brother wanted instead.:lol:

    But we had great times in it. Me and my brothers learned stick on that car, killed a deer with it (Come at me, nature):mischievous:, went across America in it, and went snow sliding in empty parking lots during Chicago winters.

    But it was built with shoddy quality, especially suspension and engine related bits. The gaskets were seemingly made out of Legos and the suspension links were crafted out of the finest of beef jerkies.

    Sadly, the car met it's demise on a road trip where my brother got involved with a Semi during traffic.:(

    Edit: Last sentence was a bit dark, Nothing really serious happened to my brother other than being mad as Hell for being dragged 15 ft to the right as a Truck blindly turned into the right lane as construction narrowed 3 lanes to 1.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  28. niky

    niky Moderator

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    I have some issues with this thing being called "B Segment", considering it's only marginally larger than a Spark.

    Feedback so far on the CVT economy is pretty good. 50 mpg on the highway is common, but whether that would carry over to typical US highway speeds, I don't know.
     
  29. sems4arsenal

    sems4arsenal Premium

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    That Mirage will sell alot here in Egypt though.
     
  30. BKGlover

    BKGlover

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    Wait, this looks familiar. Is it just me, or does it look like a Peugeot 107?

    OT: Mitsubishi is dead as an automaker in the US. When you turn to someone already drowning for help, you know you're in deep. I'll stick my head out by saying Mitsu has been taking on water since 2005-06 when the unveiled a badge-engineered Raider, a Dodge Dakota with a curved front facia, which was already In the process of being thrown overboard by Chrysler(I'll stop with the analogy now.)

    The 90's were a grand time for Mitsu Motors, but Mitsu Electric has expanded, times have changed, and those home runs of the 90's have fallen to the wayside. The Eclipse is dead, the Pajero/Montero is gone, the Outlander is lost in the crowd, and aside from the Lancer, I don't know that anything else is being offered.

    If this is as it seems, unless they can do what the Focus did over a decade ago completely blow the world away, this may be the death knell for the company, especially with the Lancer & Evo XI taking a big step into uncertainty.