• 57
Mitsubishi's been having a rough time of it lately here in the United States. Last year, sales fell 44.8 percent. Ouch. Even worse, Mitsu's lone U.S. manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois is way under capacity. How far under? Well, the Normal plant's website lists its capacity at 135,000 vehicles per year. Only thing is, back when that plant was a joint Chrysler/Mitsubishi venture it could pop out 240,000 cars per year. Last year, Normal made just 18,501 vehicles.

As you might imagine, Mitsubishi's uncertain as to whether the Normal plant will remain open. One solution might be to introduce and build their Triton pickup truck in the U.S.. America's been sorely lacking in the small pickup market for the last 15 years or so, and the Triton would be a welcome player to the segment.

Only thing is, because of the notorious chicken tax, Mitsubishi would need to build about 50,000 to 60,000 Tritons a year at the Normal plant to make the endeavor worthwhile. Last year's 44.8 percent drop in business meant that Mitsubishi only sold 53,986 cars and trucks last year. Anyone else sense a problem? Even if Mitsubishi's sales rebound over the 100,000 unit mark, it's doubtful that 50 to 60 percent of that total would be a small pickup truck, especially as Mitsubishi's mid-size truck, the Raider, was quietly discontinued last year.

[Source: Ward's Auto]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I could see it as a regular or maybe extended cab, but that looks even worse than other crew cab small pickups, mainly because of the curved back of the cab.

      I'm still waiting for a pickup with the size and clean proportions of a Ranger, just more updated interior and drivetrains...
      • 5 Years Ago
      People say the same thing about you and your momma...

      Racially-toned generalizations are the sign of ignorance. Thanks for letting the rest of us know where you stand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      this thing is hideous
      • 5 Years Ago
      While Mitsu considers its production options, there's a bigger question I'd like to pose: How on earth are they keeping the lights on at their US HQ? Based on the dismal sales numbers and strength of (non) competitive product, Mitsubishi's a mess. Heck, I briefly looked at a Galant a full 10 years ago and found it to be a vapid, soulless, anonymous car. And there's nothing in recent reviews to suggest that anything has changed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only way Mitsu is going to increase sales in US is by updating the outdated models & having a compete line-up of cars (Colt. Triton, i , Montero, Grandis). Triton/L200 is sold every where except North America. There is an SUV built using the Triton/L200 platform called Challenger in Aus.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Only thing is, because of the notorious chicken tax, Mitsubishi would need to build about 50,000 to 60,000 Tritons a year to make the endeavor worthwhile. "

      The Chicken Tax doesn't apply to trucks built in the US.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think they were referring to the fact that the triton plant can't pump out enough trucks, so they would have to build some or all overseas to counter the low numbers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, but it does mean that production capacity in the US has to be sufficient to justify the expense. Where numbers for the breakeven point would likely be less if they could just import them from Malaysia.
      • 5 Years Ago
      what is that thing on the fender near the driver side?? looks like an extra mirror or something anyone know what it is kinda weird and ugly being there
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure that mirror is not required in Japan. Yes, it is a common Japanese thing, but I think it's there more because drivers want it than a requirement.

        Go look at any of the pictures on toyota.jp, the vehicles don't have them. I'm not sure there are even any currently offered models which have them standard, but I'm sure you can get one added very easily.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That mirror is definitely a JDM saftey requirement, which (believe it or not) does serve a very useful purpose. Picture this:

        Imagine you in a downtown city such as Chicago, New York...etc, not sky scraper downtown, but where there are blocks of buildings with family owned stores on the lower level and apartment buildings on the upper levels and people parallel parking in front of those shopping stores. Don't picture shopping centers like Kohls, Best Buy, Target etc..think more of places like Chinatown, Little India, Little Ltaly, little Mexico.

        Now that we have that picture in our minds now picture how many times when traveling along that main street of that shopping area you see a car almost sticking their front end of their car out so closely to the oncoming traffic from the side street that you would almost have to navigate around them while honking your horn and possibly flicking them off. Yeah I've experienced it too.

        Now if you think about it they cannot see the traffic coming on their right hand side because of the cars parallel parked in front of the stores so they have to be a little risky and perform that move. It's either they do that or they would be even more risky and zoom completely and blindly out of the side street, hoping not to get hit by somebody from the oncoming traffic.

        Now this is where that mirror comes in handy. If the driver coming from that side street had that ugly or wierd mirror on the front hood of their car then they would be able to see the oncoming traffic while keeping their vehicle's front end behind where they theoretically should stop and also preventing any risky blind charge offs.

        As ugly as that mirror is, as you can see it serves a very useful purpose.
        • 5 Years Ago
        JDM requires the extra mirror
        • 5 Years Ago
        Some countries mandate safety items on vehicles. If you look at pictures of Domesticly produced Japanese vehicles, both trucks and auto's they all have wing mirrors on the front fenders. As far back as the Datsun 240Z (Fairlady) it had those ugly safety mirrors on the fenders. It is not just a Mitsubishi fashion statement.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi should have done this a long time ago insted of bringing us that retarded Dodge Dakota clone i saw one on of these trucks in Mexico and my jaw dropped and i also have a Matchbox car of this thing called the Mitsubishi L200 and second thought if GM fails to put the GMC Granite in production then its SWIMSUIT TIME Susan Dochertey
      • 5 Years Ago
      And you don't find your derogatory ethnic slur of a comment..UGLY?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think my next vehicle might be a truck so if the price is right I'd buy it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would have bought this had it been available in 2003 when my 16 year old RAM 50 frame rusted out. In fact the RAM 50 was so reliable I bought a Galant and a Lancer. The Galant turned ten in August and the Lancer eight. We have alot of salt on the roads in the Northeast. The market would be all of North and South America, and the Carrabean. Mitsu is still pretty strong outside of the US. This truck also uses a diesel application in most countries.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how long it will be before Ford sues them for use of the name Triton in conjunction with pickup trucks?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you notice, this has happened before. As long as the cars aren't in the same market, it is usually okay. Mitsubishi called the 3000GT the GTO in other countries. I would think they would changed the name of the truck if they sold it here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It might be the other way around on the name Triton. I believe Mitsubishi has been using the Triton name for about 30 years world-wide on the pickup except here in the US of A. We could also assume Ford and Mitsubishi worked that out along time ago. Maybe when Mazda was building the Ford Courier and using the Mitsubishi 2.0L in it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Mighty Max was a nice looking pickup.

      And, doesn't the chicken tax only apply to imports. Why would Mitsubishi have to build any set number in the US if the tax doesn't apply to domestically produced pickups (NAFTA zone)?
    • Load More Comments