• Sep 7, 2010
Mitsubishi Eclipse – Click above for high-res image gallery

Things aren't looking good for the Mitsubishi lineup of American-built vehicles. According to AutoWeek, the Japanese automaker is channeling all of its resources into building a new global small car. That means that between now and 2012, we won't be seeing too many updates to the likes of the Galant, Endeavor, Eclipse or Eclipse Spyder. All of those past-their-prime vehicles ride on the same platform and are built in the company's Normal, Illinois manufacturing facility. As of right now, AutoWeek says that the Japanese automaker hasn't decided what to build at that plant once cars like the current Eclipse go the way of the dinosaur.

Mitsubishi has been planning a new global car for a good while now, and while details are still murky at the moment, we're told to expect a fuel-thrifty 1.0 or 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. The car is expected to show up in either late 2012 or early 2013, which leaves Mitsubishi to soldier on with only two other planned additions to its lineup between now and then – the i-MiEV electric vehicle and the Outlander Sport.

Us? We're a bit more pessimistic. If cash-strapped Mitsu offs a significant portion of its lineup amidst slumping sales, will a new inexpensive small car and the Outlander and Lancer lineups make U.S. dealers enough money for them to stay in business?

[Source: AutoWeek]


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  • 57 Comments
      amar birdi
      • 3 Years Ago
      ever since 1999 mitsubishi has been going downhill into the same level as suzuki, they killed the fto of in 1999, they killed of the 3000gt in 1999 and as for the eclipse, thats been getting soft and fat ever since 1999. please mitsu go back turbo charged awd cars like in the 90s
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's bad that these two models (along with the Endeavor) were dependent on American sales. Of course Mitsubishi wouldn't have any resource to redesign them...
      I don't think that Mitsubishi has what it takes to get out of this negative spiral, especially when it has grown so massive...

      I predicted that Pontiac and Mercury would die sooner or later. (to be fair though, who wouldn't?) Maybe my prediction that Mitsubishi and Suzuki will follow their path in the next couple years might become a reality, after all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wait. What I meant to say is that Mitsubishi's North America was responsible for these three models. They were not as international as the Lancer and the Outlander are. Of course there wouldn't be enough money to redesign them...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder whether Mitsubishi's days in America are numbered.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Mitsubishis never did do well against Mustangs, Avengers and Lightnings...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ IanKen

        Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they are not committed to an entire vehicle lineup, they should just leave. Mitsu used to be known for sporty cars, and the Eclipse defined a genre once. No reason - other than their current level of incompetence - they could not be selling many nice, sporty cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Remember the '95-'99 Eclipse? Journalists compared its then concept-like appearance and curves to a working man's Ferrari. What the hell happened?! The '00 follow-up was an amorphous hodgepodge of awkwardly assembled panels and the current car strives so hard to recall that mid-'90s success that it just looks fat and old.

      How can a company capable of building a lightweight, hyperactive sports compact like the Evo IX or the mid-'90s Eclipse repeatedly miss the target by such a wide margin on so many models? The Galant is more of a never-ran than an also-ran. Does anyone really cross shop them anymore?

      I'd love to see them team-up with a company like Lotus to engineer a truly amazing mid-sized sedan with a coupe spin-off. Make it light, turbocharge it but don't go nuts on power and make it handle well. If they can recreate the beauty of an exotic at a working man's price without trying to recreate an old car (like the current Eclipse), there's no reason they can't be successful.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Even though the Eclipse starts a few thousand cheaper, the Genesis Coupe or Mustang (2011) are WAY better cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm surprised Geely or some other Chinese firm hasn't bought them up. Instant US market. Maybe not much of a market, but at least there are dealers and a factory established.
      • 4 Years Ago
      -> If Mitsu doesn't do a dramatic (ie. huge) turnaround with these former great cars, its better to let them die. The glory days of these two models ended when they phased out the last Galant VR-4 (in JDM & US) & the Eclipse GSX (US). Such sad, sad days. And also kill the the stupid Endeavor and the pointless Raider while doing at it.

      (I could see Honda going the similar route soon)

      -> The good thing from this outcome is to bring the Grandis, i, Colt, L200, (New) Montero Sport, and the (New) Montero to the NA.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good. They should just focus on the Lancer, Outlander, and Outlander Sport, and they should consider bringing smaller cars like the 'i' and Colt here as well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      People forget that Mitsubishi is a giant corporation in Japan and actually one of the largest corporate conglomerates in the world. They own Japan's largest bank and is Japan's largest general trading corporation. The automotive industry is kind of a plaything for them but they are still committed to the global market. Mitsubishi supplies parts to automotive manufacturers all over the world so they aren't in any danger of going out of business.

      The problem with MMNA is that the stablemate cars of the brand were manufactured by the UAW and just like any other car brand those contracts killed innovation and produced over inventories of cars they couldn't sell. Mitsubishi's best cars came from Japan and the brand has been trying to shift all production back to their home country and work strictly as an exporter. That shift essentially killed off the two most popular cars they sold and the financing debacle to sell off the overproduced inventory hurt Mitsubishi North America very hard. They have been trying to work their way back with a simplified lineup working off a single vehicle platform to cover the three main categories in the North American market.

      The Lancer platform is very good and the Outlander line is as good as any other car in its class. Mitsubishi also has a very small dealer network and Mitsubishi Japan is happy with the sales numbers. The credit division of Mitsubishi is also in very good shape now being underwritten by one of the largest banks in the world.

      Right now you really can't find a better deal than a Mitsubishi. 0% financing and rebates up to $2500. You can easily walk out of a dealership having just bought a brand new Lancer GTS for $299 a month with 0 down.
      Tom
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a former Mistubishi sales manager it pains me to see them in this shape. They build a good vehicle and have the best warranty out there,regardless of what others claim. The old Montero Sport was outdated but it sold well right up to the end. The Diamante would stand up to anything in its class. The new Lancer and Outlander are excellent values.
      The 0-down,0-payment,0-interest program damned near killed them. Add in the fact that at one time 40% of their business was to fleet customers which killed any resale they had.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think they could kill off the entire lineup today, and almost no one would notice.
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