By March, Mitsubishi expects to have sold just 55,000 cars in the US this fiscal year. That's a tiny sum – by comparison, Honda has sold over 276,000 Civic models thus far this year – and that's just one vehicle, not an entire brand. Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko recognizes this is not a tenable position, and he's hoping the company will shift 80,000 units next fiscal year. Warding off speculation, Masuko has repeatedly stated that his company will not retreat from the US market like competitor Suzuki.

We reported on one part of Masuko's plan, the updated Outlander, and now he has confirmed that the small Mirage will be sold in the US beginning next September. The cut-price hatchback is selling well enough that Mitsu's Thailand plant is at its full capacity of 150,000 cars. "And even at that level it's not keeping up with orders," Masuko tells Automotive News. Masuko went on to say the plant would be expanded next year to handle an extra 50,000 units. We can also expect the Outlander plug-in early 2014.

The company's Normal, Illinois, plant will also get an expansion to increase output of the Outlander Sport crossover. That facility will go from 50,000 a year to 70,000. Much of the additional production will be exported from the US to Russia, Latin America and the Middle East.

In other news, Masuko admits the company's bubble-shaped i electric subcompact is selling far more poorly than expected. At one time, the company had optimistically planned on 20,000 sales a year of it little EV, but thus far, Mitsu has only shifted 469 units through October. Because of that, don't expect to see the electric Mirage any time soon. In fact, Automotive News reports that the company plans to move away from pure electric vehicles and focus on hybrids and plug-in hybrids for the US market.



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  • 62 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      All of these companies were delusional to think a car that gets 100 miles on a charge and costs $35k+ was going to move more than a few thousand. Its nice to see some effort going into electric cars, but the technology is not cheap enough...yet
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        [blocked]
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        62 mile range and $29k+ MSRP.
      Teleny411
      • 2 Years Ago
      My God!!! That Mirage looks worse than a Soviet era Lada!!! Who do they think will buy this cheap looking thing unless the waaaaay undercut the Versa?
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Mitsubishi-i has really flopped. I had some hopes for it because it was the lowest price pure EV but it just really flopped badly. I think it had several problems: -It is pretty weird looking -The 16KWH battery is really small and had very limited range. I'd say the ~24KWH size in the Leaf (or 23KWH battery in the Ford Focus Electric & Think City) is pretty much the minimum battery size for a practical highway-speed full-size EV. -It was pretty small (4 seater only) -Kinda chintzy.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope they the right price point in mind for this car. In my opinion, that means competing with the cheapest cars available. Since this car doesn't appear special in any way, that means they should have the lowest price possible -- preferably below $10k, certainly below $11k.
        skierpage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        It's special in many ways. It burns no gasoline. Every morning you get in a car that overnight you cheaply and overall-less-bad-for-the-environment "refueled' for your daily driving. It should be extremely reliable and require minimal servicing. You're powering it with domestic energy, not funding people who hate America. I've never seen an EV ad clearly and directly promoting these special features.
      Scooter
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 2012 Mirage is an embarrassment, i would never be caught dead driving this. This is exactly the kind of design that puts Mitsubishi in the position its in right now.
        speterjr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scooter
        Yes, it is bland, isn't it? But that's one of the main reasons it's coming to America: "we" love bland cars these days. Hopefully, it will be offered at a cut-rate price. I can't see paying more than $11,000 for this thing.
          Jared Montgomery
          • 2 Years Ago
          @speterjr
          I was going to say the same. It comes down to price; I believe a sub-11k sticker is the only way this car could find a foothold here.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi needs to study Kia. Kia went from being a joke of a company here in the US to completely revitalizing their sales, reputation, and brand image. Kia made a new lineup. They hired a world class car designer (Peter Schreyer) to make the lineup look great. They switched to a 10-year 100,000 mile warranty, which was heavily advertised. And they kept prices low. This worked. And it worked quickly. 6 years from zero to hero.
        David
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        That was mostly due to Hyundai taking them over than anything else, turning their mechanicals from crap to excellent, quickly. Schreyer took it from there.
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David
          On that note as well, Hyundai didn't turn that quickly either. What they did do though, was make huge strides from generation to generation. They've finally reached the point now where they are competitive with the best in class. But, it took them several generations of increasingly better vehicles to get there. It didn't happen in anywhere close to 6yrs, more like 15-20. Kia just benefitted from being on the tail end of Hyundai's rise so it seemed like a quick jump.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David
          And Hyundai apparently lied their way to success. I wonder if that scandal is going to hurt them in more than just a minor way.
      Ratieya
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is the first car I've ever seen that looks boring in fluorescent green. It might sell well if it's cheap enough, though.
      A TK
      • 2 Years Ago
      1) new lancer that rides coat tails of the Dodge dart (meaning many engine options stellar mpg and above average performance) 2) shrink the evo and make it the rally king as it was 6 years ago. Refine it, make it FEEL big, that doesnt mean that it needs to BE big. 3) create a new gallant/diamonte that looks something like the concept Zt 4) bring the eclipse back but make it a competitor to FR/BZwhatever and DO NOT just make it an affordable coupe/spyder. Make it stand out. Make corvette owners jealous even. Imagine a mix between 3000 gt and eclipse. (lambo owners are jealous of the evo :p) 5) make the outlander and outlander sport more off-road-ish and less family soccer game-ish. 6) launch a new luxury brand in the US that will rival acura/infiniti/lexus by offering luxury cars that arent floaty boats, but instead focus on handling, performance, refinement, technology, and convenience. (I hate when someone buys a lexus then they never drive it because it's a luuuuuxury car. or when they drive all slow because the car bounces if you try to do anything fun with it.) 7) make the imiev and the mirage twin small cars that are affordable. the mirage should cost around 12000 the imiev (though I know it has a ton of technology) should be around 15,000. 8) lastly, make a versitile mid-sized sedan. I'd say Mirage/imiev for subcompact segment. Lancer and Evo for compact. Brand new galant for midsized (to rival the avenger, maxima, camry, and accord) and new Diamonte (cocept Zt) for full sized sedan segment. no trucks. Only the outlander for a cuv. no vans. no bikes. Just do what you've been doing best mitsu.
        to your email L
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A TK
        I just google imaged concept zt and yes they should build it. What are you waiting for.
          A TK
          • 2 Years Ago
          @to your email L
          right now they seem to be their own worst enemy. The zt is a fantastic looking car.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      No new Gallant?
      to your email L
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bring out a new Galant or Dimante, it's about time.
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