Mitsubishi sales in the U.S. actually rose last year by 2.5 per cent compared to 2019, with 121,046 cars sold, the bump largely driven by Eclipse Cross sales more than doubling. Still, that’s less than the number of Chevy Malibus that sold last year. Mitsu is now beginning to think this whole U.S. thing may not be worth it.
Mitsu, I’ll remind you, is the third, uh, wheel, in the Nissan-Renault alliance, which is now rethinking everything in post-Carlos Ghosn world. That means, according to Automotive News’ most recent report on the matter, a strategy of dividing and conquering. Well, dividing at least.
Renault will focus on Europe, Nissan will focus on North America, and Mitsubishi will focus on Southeast Asia and Australia.
Will this mean a complete pullout of Mitsu in the U.S.? That part is unclear, though if that did eventually happen it wouldn’t be that surprising. I’m not even clear how many people would notice.
From Automotive News, which listened in on the company’s most recent shareholder meeting:
Addressing investors during Mitsubishi’s annual shareholders meeting last week, Kato said the automaker will dial down business in megamarkets such as Europe and China. He didn’t mention North America or the U.S. by name. But the company later confirmed that it indeed considers the U.S. a megamarket.
The company’s new plan is called Selection and Concentration. Under Mitsubishi’s previous business plan, Drive for Growth, the carmaker had specifically flagged North America and China as two regions of focus.
“Even though we increased sales volume in the megamarkets, we have not yet achieved the level of profit we expected,” Kato said. “We aim to increase sales in the regions where we can offer our core products. We will gradually reduce our commitment to megamarkets.”
Obviously, Mitsu leaving the U.S. would be sad in the sense that while I look at its current offerings for when I need a chuckle. I still like the fact that it is an option to buy a Mirage for less than $US14,000 ($20,236). Brand new! That’s almost Chevy Spark money. And you get a manual transmission and a rear spoiler, too. What more do you people want?!