• Feb 4th 2011 at 11:00AM
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2011 Infiniti M37 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mitsubishi is reportedly considering selling a rebadged version of the Infiniti M sedan in order to fill its void of premium offerings in its home market of Japan. However, Automotive News notes that Mitsubishi's President, Osamu Masuko, has stated that the automaker will not leverage manufacturing deals with other companies in order to expand its lineup here in the United States, so don't expect to see a Mitsu-branded Infiniti on our shores anytime soon.

Mitsubishi's last endeavor into the luxury sedan market was with the Diamante – a car that suffered from lackluster sales numbers during its run throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Due to Mitsubishi's financial woes during the mid-2000s, luxury car development was put on hold. Now, though, selling a rebadged version of the Infiniti M (or Nissan Fuga, as it's known in Japan) would insulate Mitsubishi from research and development costs, making it easier for the automaker to launch back into the luxury segment.

Automotive News reports that the Mitsubishi-badged Infiniti could go on sale in Japan as early as this year. Expect the standard gas version to be the first to wear a triple-diamond badge, though Mitsubishi may sell a version of the M Hybrid, as well. Top tip, Randy!

Photos copyright ©2011 Michael Harley / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mitsu seems destined to the oblivion of Isuzu. Isuzu went down the 'outsourced' vehicle path, only to die in the US market. If Mitsu cannot develop its own car line, even if it borrows SOME parts from others to save on some manufacturing costs, it will be gone soon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The last time Mitsubishi tried selling a badge-engineered product, it sold at 1/10th the rate of the original. How would badge-engineering a Nissan improve the bottom line?

      Improve your own products first, then worry about expanding into the higher tiers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think a Chrysler shortened LX platform Diamante would be better. Give us an Eclipse on the Fiat C-Evo. Give us a Montero on the Grand Cherokee platform, refresh the Triton and bring it over here. Give us a new Lancer on the C-evo, give us a Hyundai Veloster competitor on the Punto's platform, and give us a 3000 GT on the Challenger platform. That's all they, need, at least just in the U.S
      • 4 Years Ago
      My high school car still look classy, with the tv off in the dash. Girls busting they ass, yelling slow down he going too fast in a diamante with no tints on the glass.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The phrase "$60K luxury sports sedan" and "Mitsubishi" rarely occur in the same sentence - and for good reason.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Mitsubishi has more pressing concerns in their current line up than to be worried about a lux seg. car. Personally I'd say use and abuse the Lancer platform. Lengthen it, widen it, shorten it. Make sure every car used has a Evo drive train option be it mild or wild and I'm sure it would be a hit with everyone.

      Imagine a Eclipse GTS that is really a Evo with a shortened wheel base? Or a Galant that is a bit longer? A Diamante that is lengthened and widened and with the Evo drivetrain I'm sure a lot of people would be comparing it to a A4-A6?

      Ok enough dreaming.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Lancer can stretch to become a Galant VR-4, that's pretty easy.

        Shrinking the Lancer to make a "good" Eclipse like the gen 2 would be difficult - the Lancer is so bloated now - what could you keep?

        But yeah, rebadging a Maxima as a Diamante might work if it were a twin-turbo VR-4 - something Nissan doesn't offer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like your idea and I do not see why Mitsubishi has not already started doing something along those lines. Mitsubishi is failing miserably right now (some people probably don't even know they exist anymore). The Lancer and Outlander are the only somewhat success they have right now. If they actually build more vehicle on the platform they could end up going head to head with Ford and Hyundai at some point. They have to get started like last year though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ John H.

        Yes. 1G Eclipse corresponds to 6G Galant. 2G to 7G. 3G to 8G and finally 4G to 9G.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really? Even the tiny gen 1 & gen 2 were Galant-based?
        • 4 Years Ago
        They should just change there name to Evolution Motors. Agree take whats most successful and out with the rest. cost savings by only having i4 power train and AWD optional on everything. Turbo option on everything. Evo sedans, hatches, wagons, rebody as sports car, small suv.... Less would be more in this case. They also have to realize what they are. They are not subaru and they are not mazda. They are performance with high technology. They should stick to it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I miss my '92 Diamante. Best damn first car a person could ever have! (ok, maybe that's a stretch, but it was pretty awesome when I was in high school and college and everyone else had civics and Focii)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am glad yours worked out for you. I worked at a Mitsu dealer in 1996 and based on my experience, you were in the minority. We sold way more Galants than Diamantes but at any given time in the shop there was almost an equal amount of each. Those things kept coming back and back, I remember many an irritated customer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I too drove a '92 Diamante (my dads) during my senior year of high school. One of the best interiors of the 90's given its price range; I'd argue it would still look current in 2011. He sold it in '03 and had zero problems during its ownership.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi's Isuzu-style death spiral in the US continues. It's so painful to watch.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know this is Japan only, but this certainly won't help them here in the US.

      The Colt and updated vehicles can't get here soon enough. Mitsubishi is officially on death watch as far as I am concerned.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi needs to leave the car industry NOW!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's what happens when you mix low quality cars with shady leasing and sales options for economically challenged customers.

      I know people who were "stuck" in ther Mitsubishi's for 8 - 10 years because of crazy leasing and purchasing programs. Paying $199.00/ month for a decade for a freaking Montero.

      I hope that they go out of business or at least stop selling here in the states. More room for American automakers to make profits.

        • 4 Years Ago
        They could import their truck-based SUV's from the Australiasian markets.
        I think the Montero Sport can be a hit.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "If people are stupid they deserve what they get"

        Really John H? Really?

        So instead of companies trying to actually sell quality products to customers in a respectable, honest, and straight forward manner, they should be free to scheme and train their employees to hide the truth from their potential customers, as long as it's not breaking any laws?

        Who do you work for? An extended auto warranty company. I can hear you now:

        Customer: Yea, I'm bringing in car to be repaired. The aircondition stopped working. But I purchased a 3rd party full-coverage extended warranty good for 100,000 miles.

        You: "Well, I know that we said that our warranty covers "everything" like the original, however, did you read that last page of the stuff that we didn't cover?

        Customer: Hunh?

        You: Ummmm, yeaaaaaaa, page 6 in small print on the backside in light yellow after your signature page there's a list of the 55 things we don't cover and the AC unit is one of them... so ummmm, yeaaaaaa.

        Customer: But when I asked you about what the warranty covered you told me everything just like the original warranty? You never listed these things or directed me to read the list before I paid for your services.

        You: Well you shouldn't sign things that you don't read sir.

        Customer: But... when I asked you this question, why didn't you answer it correctly?

        You: Sir, you signed a contract before you purchased the warranty, it has all the specifics of the warranty, I didn't cover every thing with you.

        Customer: But again I ask, why were you misleading? you could have answered my question and I would have looked for another warranty that fit my needs.

        You: Well you were stupid enough to sign this form without reading it so that's your fault sir. Next time, read before you sign things.

        Customer: I signed this form and assumed that these 7 pages were all legal jargon that I didn't understand and assumed that that information really didn't apply to me.

        You: Well you know what they say about people who assume... Next please.

        Customer #2: I had to pay for roadside assistance but I thought that my warranty covered these types of expenses?

        You: Maam... what state were you in when you needed assiatance?

        Customer 2: Kansas

        You: Maam, did you read page 36 of the manual? It specifically states that KS, and HI aren't included in this plan.

        Customer #2: But I live in Kansas City... the Kansas side.

        You: But our dealership is on the Mossouri side.

        Customer #2: But you knew that I lived in Kansas, why would you sell me a warranty that doesn't apply to the state that I reside in?

        You: Well why would you purchase a warranty that doesn't apply to the state that you live in? It's not my job to ask where you're going to be. Maybe you rent? Maybe you're going to move next week and start over in California.

        Customer #2: Or Hawaii...

        You: Well you should read before you sign anything maam. Nobody put a gun to your head and made you sign those papers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ John H.

        Your logic makes perfect sense, however, you're overlooking one thing, company values and direction.

        I'm not letting the people who made the bad mistake of financing with Mitsubishi off the line for responsibility here, because even at 19 with no buyers experience, I was able to see through the smoke.

        But when you have a company that PURPOSELY takes advantage of less educated, less astute, and desperate individuals, I have a serious problem with that.

        We're all aware that not everyone functions the same in our society. There's a serious bell curve going on these days. You have some people, who are high functioning, highly educated, and are the engineers of the world we live in today. They understand the ins and outs of basically everything and have no issue taking on foreign subjects or situations.

        Then you have people who didn't even finish high school, have low attention span, aren't able to even comprehend basic instructions and become confused and frustrated easily when confronted with new information.

        They may not be rock dumb and they will probably pass on that bridge sale, but if you teach your associates a tricky, long drawn out way to explain your financing plan, make overly long signature forms with much of the important information in overly small print at the bottom of page 5, hide basic information like trade-in value amounts and loan to value ratios on PURPOSE, then you're being shady.

        If this is a company culture and this is the way that Mitsubishi dealerships TRAINED their employees to handle customers, that's shady. That's being involved in misleading practices to confuse the consumer.

        I know that it's up to us to ensure that we are bamboozled by anyone, however, I'm not going to wish success on a business that teaches deceit as a way to conduct business transactions. And this happened multiple times to me at multiple dealerships. I never bought one, but I just started to see who shady their sales practices are.

        Honda never did that to me and that's why I continued to be a customer with them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How is it Mitsu's fault that they bought a car with a 8-10 year term?

        Presumably, they didn't have much other choice besides trying to finance a used car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Personally I think they need these vehicles:

      Lancer Ralliart
      Eclipse (a shortened Lancer) (concept RA)
      Eclipse Ralliart
      Eclipse GTX (basically an EVO with 2 doors)
      Galant (ZT Concept)
      And a SUV with a real 3rd row.

      Those are the only vehicles they need. Maybe later they can add a truck or something and maybe some hybrid versions as well. Right now though, they just need to work on getting some decent cars on dealer lots.
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