• Jan 18, 2011
2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

Despite posting a three-percent increase in sales year-over-year in 2010, Mitsubishi is struggling here in the United States. The vast majority of the products in the automaker's portfolio are slow-sellers, with only the Lancer and Outlander families gaining much in the way of high praise from both the media and consumers alike. Still, Mitsubishi has plans to soldier on, and a report from Automotive News states that the Japanese automaker is looking to shift production of some of its sedans and crossovers to the United States within the next two years.

Currently, the automaker's plant in Normal, Illinois builds the Galant, Endeavor and Eclipse, but these vehicles are scheduled to be phased out by 2013. Moving forward, Mitsubishi's new family of vehicles based on the platform that underpins the Lancer, Outlander and Outlander Sport – vehicles that are currently built in Japan – will be assembled in Illinois. Currently, Mitsubishi has not cited any plans to create replacements for any of the outgoing models currently built here in America.



Photos copyright ©2011 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Really mitsu, don't even bother.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ IBx1

        They are moving the production of the Lancer family of models to this plant. The Evo is a Lancer!

        This makes way more money sense. With the tanking American dollar building vehicles in Japan for sale in the US is difficult to justify. Especially at lower price points. By shifting production to this plant Mitsu can cut costs on their best selling models and in theory even drop the prices to be more competitive. It is a huge win for the plant as well since these vehicles are much better sellers.

        The Lancer and Outlander are quite good vehicles and this would tend to indicated revamped versions for 2013 which means Mitsubishi is here to stay. Good news for small car lovers.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Maybe the plan is to displace hideously expensive Japanese production with less-expensive American production?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe Detroit can give them some incentives to use the old Packard property grounds.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi, don't do it. Your quality will suffer. I have owned a couple of Mitsubishis in my life and the Japanese made ones were bulletproof where the Illinois made ones had always some type of a problem especially after the magical 50,000 mile mark (I am looking at you Galant and Eclipse). Mitsubishis problem is lack of understanding of average US consumer and their PR/marketing could have been better. Their new cars such as Lancer/Outlander/Outlander Sport are pretty much not any worse and in a lot of cases better than mundane competition and if they would be wearing a Honda/Toyota badge they would sell them like hot cakes. Key to US market is advertising.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I've had two Eclipses and one Galant. One I sold with 166K miles, another with 154K and Eclipse I still have is at 94K. Although I do agree that my Japanese built Evo is better built I think the current product rolling out of Normal is better then my old mid 90's Mitsus.
      CheckTheseOut
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't think I've seen a Mitsub on the road in years... and both of our local dealers closed shop long ago. On the flip side, I do recall seeing an old Suzuki suv making a U turn a few days ago.
        CheckTheseOut
        • 3 Years Ago
        @CheckTheseOut
        re: narf

        No, they're still up, albeit very faded and the old locked car lot is now totally weed choked. Fortunately our Chrysler dealer is still in biz (and now includes Dodge, Ram and Jeep), but the Chrysler sign still says "Imperial" under it. How long has it been since they offered an Imperial???? Funny.







        • 3 Years Ago
        @CheckTheseOut
        Did they at least take the signs with them? Around my area, the Mitsubishi dealer closed up a while ago, but their marque is still up on the big signs. The Suzuki sign is still up on the adjacent lot too. Ditto with Isuzu.

        Then again, on the other big sign, the Chrysler/Plymouth logo is still up, along with Jeep/Eagle.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @CheckTheseOut
        If you had Mitsu/Suzuki/Isuzu dealership you would be like the Maytag repairman in those commercials.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Right now Mitsubishi's biggest competitor is Kia. Most Mitsu dealers that are still around have added Hyundai or Kia. The Optima and Optima turbo are far better cars than anything Mitsu has made over the past ten years in the segment. The Optima really is the new '90s Galant GTZ.

      The Lancer is still better than the Forte and I'll still take a Lancer over any other car in the compact class. If Mitsubishi upgraded the interiors like Chrysler has then there would be very little to complain about if you bought a Mitsubishi.

      I had a Normal built Eclipse. Everything wrong with it was a result of UAW bureaucracy and proper parts not being used because the UAW mandated something they would never put in the car if it was built in Japan. The only thing wrong with the car was that the 5 speed transmission was not manufactured properly to work with the V6 engine but because of UAW contracts the car was built with it anyway. The syncros were bad and the car never shifted properly. As for my Japanese built Mitsus I have put over 200,000 miles on them and not had one mechanical problem.

      Sorry but I will never touch anything built by the UAW again. Because of bureaucracy and poor workmanship they build crap, to put it nicely. My wife had a UAW built Matrix and practically everything that could go wrong with the car went wrong. My dad decided to try and buy American after 9/11 and went out and bought a Malibu. The front end fell apart after 25k miles. My sister's Equinox has been nickle and diming her to death for the past 3 years.. At 60,000 miles the driveshaft broke. Do I even have to mention the word Tempo, the biggest crapbox of the 20th century.

      Mitsu building cars at Normal is very bad news. I understand they are doing it because of the dollar/yen ratio which is killing profits. In the end building cars here will be what kills the company in the USA for good.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi is in a weird place right now. They've wasted money on the American built vehicles are completely against Mitsubishi core values, those three are more suited to wearing Toyota or Honda badges. But then the true Mitsubishi vehicles like the Evo and the Ralliart aren't being marketed properly because Mitsubishi can't afford to put a factory effort in the races that matter like WRC or Dakar. They need to get rid of the big, fat and stupid Galant, Endeavour and Eclipse as quickly as possible. They need to bring back a proper, smaller Eclipse with the drivetrain of the Ralliart, and find a way to make trim levels of the Evo and the Ralliart which are less expensive for the driving enthusiast who can't quite afford them. One of the most imported Japanese vehicles in to Canada is the Mitsu Delica diesel 4x4 van. The Montero should be brought back with its Pajero nameplate and offered with the diesel.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ditto that they need to focus on a core audience instead of trying to appeal to the masses. You're not going to out-beige the competition, so why not fill in the niches that the other automakers have seemed to abandon, like affordable sport compacts? A capable (meaning at least a 6' bed and 1000#) and fuel efficient small truck won't hurt either. Not everyone needs a pickup that can tow a house, y'know.

        I can't see the Delica coming here to the US at all, for reasons such as this:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnY_h4soriY

        Keeping the Pajero name ... yeah, that'd go well. What do you drive? A wanker. It's a more unfortunate name than Nova (no go).
        • 3 Years Ago
        Haha! I had no idea about Pajero. Maybe they should just stick with Montero nameplate then. A small diesel pickup based on that platform would be good. I own two Mitsubishis now and have owned a couple others before, I'm buying a Dodge diesel next and my wife wants a VW diesel, so unless Mitsubishi starts offering anything that fits my needs, I'll probably end up importing an early Evo from Japan as my trackday and rallycross car to replace my 4G coupe.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @narf, the youtube video shows the previous generation Delica that was basically originally designed and released in 1994 (production run from 94-07). The new generation Delica D:5 which was released in 2007 would actually be a cool niche product especially in off-road version, who else makes off-road capable minivans?

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/Mitsubishi_Delica_D5_001.jpg
      • 3 Years Ago
      What about a Colt hatch?
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Currently, the automaker's plant in Normal, Illinois builds the Galant, Endeavor and Eclipse, but these vehicles are scheduled to be phased out by 2013"

      So..
      glass half full: only three more years and we will get to see their replacement!
      glass half empty: those outdated products will be lingering around for three more years.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Problem is, Mitsu doesnt have anything thats different than the competition, or better for that matter. It's products compete with last generation, of competitors products. And unreliable at that. They can leave the market for all I care, just like Isuzu has.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're right in that Mitsubishi can't outbeige their competition with the Galant, Endeavor, or the weak iteration of an Eclipse they offer right now. They need to forget all that and focus on the niche markets like narf said. The Evo is a world-class machine that is simply on a different playing field than even its closest rival ,the STi. And the Outlander is more performance-oriented than any of its competitors. That is where they need to focus, Japanese performance vehicles for the masses, no big dollar GT-Rs or LFAs, just compete with companies like Mazda for inexpensive, fun to drive machines.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have always felt that one of the biggest things holding back Mitsubishi is the name of the company itself. They need to create a new company name that is more fitting for a manufacturer of modern vehicles. Just my two cents worth.....
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oldsmobile was a proud old name too, as was Pontiac, Plymouth and Mercury....in the end, it didn't matter. I am not saying that their product is crap, I am saying only that their name is "out of step" with the trend to "modernize" all kinds of name. Examples include, Gatoraid...now it is G2, Radio Shack....now it is The Shack.....Chevrolet is advertised officially as Chevy....while I generally agree that modernizing names in this fashion only goes to show how lazy society has gotten, in Mitsubishis' case, they need to explore options....or get ready to pour millions into an advertising campaign to get your name back to the forefront.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It is one of the oldest brand names in Japan, and they built the first Japanese production car. The name and the logo practically IS Japan industrialism and their sister companies cover everything from military vehicles, to aerospace, to banking, to textiles to insurance to electronics. You might as well be asking Ford to drop the blue oval or saying GE should change their name.

        The name, the logo - isn't going any where.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Until I can find another car company that will give me 200k miles on just pm, I'll be sticking with Mitsu. My chevy's used to fall apart after 90-120k miles along with my gmc. Mitsubishi has been nice to me, car and company. So I'll be trading in my eclipse soon for an outlander sport. Great to see they are bring things state side.
        • 3 Years Ago
        How old were your Chevys? Maybe you should try them again.

        My girlfriend had a 2003 Lancer that had all of its maintenance done at the dealer and had completely fallen apart at 120,000 miles. Transmission slipping, engine burning oil, interior was falling apart, the list goes on. It was her first and last Mitsubishi.

        Mitsubishi is FAR from the top of the automotive world, their reliability isn't near the top, and their depreciation is shocking.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Your girlfriend is an exception and not the rule. There's probably plenty more to that story you either don't know or are not telling us. There is no issue with Lancer reliability.
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