siai47 wrote:But like the I-MiEV that could have been brought to market before any other viable BEV, they waited until after the LEAF came on the market and then tried to sell the I-MiEV at the same price point. The Outlander [PHEV] has no current competition in the US---but might by the time they get it here. I really don't think Mitsubishi cares if it survives or not in the US market.
I've been kind of wondering about that myself, but this reference from another thread suggests Mitsubishi wants to be here and thinks it's important:http://www.autonews.com/article/2013121 ... z2ojHnP6T2
PV1 wrote:You would think Mitsubishi would have sold more than that. I see Lancers and Outlanders everywhere. ....Although lately, they have been hitting hard with commercials for the Outlander. Dropping the Galant and Eclipse
was a bad idea.
Again going back to the Masuko interview, it's clear that Mitsubishi sees itself as a niche player, and has decided that niche is going to be SUV/CUV with distinctive electrification options. Seen in that light, the i-MiEV has mainly been important as a test mule for components that are getting their first "true" outing in the Outlander-PHEV - and it's a huge hit!
As for the Galant, it was just no longer competitive in a very tough segment at the heart of the market. Many reviewers dubbed it the worst car in its class, not because of any particular faults, but because it had fallen behind years of improvements by everyone else.
The Eclipse had its fans, but honestly hasn't been all that interesting since switching to the chopped Galant chassis; without the Galant in production to provide scale, the Eclipse was no longer viable. Masuko makes pretty clear that Mitsu sees sports cars as a niche where they just don't have any competitive advantage and can't afford to divert resources.
I think the good news in all this is that Mitsu really wants to stay alive in this market, despite limited resources. We've seen the effects of a few years of house cleaning, but new product is coming online and things may look very different in the next few years, especially as the Nissan alliance bears fruit. On the other hand, they also seem quite realistic on the role they can expect to play given their size and capabilities. The business might be good enough to keep running, but not strong enough to fetch a decent price in an over-capacity industry, so Masuko et al are partnering and maneuvering to take advantage of what strengths they still have. The Outlander-PHEV is the clearest evidence we have of what's possible for them. I just hope they can work through their battery supply problems and get that car here before it's too late.