Mitsubishi struggles to freeze new car launches in Europe

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Mitsubishi (which is part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance) announced a bunch of bad news on July 27, 2020 starting with a very bad financial report.For the fiscal year ending March 2021, the Japanese company expects an operating loss of 140 billion yen ($ 1.33 billion). It will be the second consecutive year of losses, and possibly the worst “At least 18 years old”. The results were bad in 2019, but with COVID-19, the company is in very bad shape, it seems.

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Because of the urgent need to cut costs and the future is uncertain, Mitsubishi will close its factory at Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in Japan. This means the end of the Pajero SUV (other products will be transferred to the Okazaki factory).

In Europe, Mitsubishi will freeze the introduction of new models (including the new Outlander), but will continue to sell its existing range and provide after-sales and service.

“Announcement of the freezing of the introduction of new models on the European market

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, at its board meeting on July 27, 2020, decided to freeze the introduction of new models in the European market.

Sales of existing models will continue.

In addition, after-sales service and services will continue, for customers who prefer to use Mitsubishi products. “

Looks like they’re waiting to see how recovery unfolds, perhaps to get some help from the Alliance, which is turning into a new way of operating. Assuming the automaker can’t exist for long without new models, they will either retire altogether or change strategy / only offer certain models in Europe.

In general, Mitsubishi’s new three-year medium-term business plan (fiscal year 2020 to 2022) – “Small but beautiful” – includes production cuts, layoffs, closure of unprofitable concessions, all to reduce its fixed costs by 20%.

The company will also focus on its “Key regions and technologies to improve profitability”. They have no choice because the operating margin is negative at 9.5%.

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Just a few days ago, we learned that in North America, Mitsubishi will launch the next-gen Outlander in the second quarter of 2021. However, the existing plug-in hybrid version will receive an upgrade, likely similar to the one. from Europe / Japan about two years ago. In other words, the next generation won’t get the PHEV version right off the bat.

Additionally, it looks like the new Outlander (ICE) will be delayed for about a year until 2021, when in Europe anything new is stopped. The existing Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will have to continue for a few more years.

Fortunately, Mitsubishi has released a presentation, explaining its new strategy, which shows the Outlander PHEV is not dead. It will arrive in fiscal year 2022 (by March 31, 2023).

In fact, there will be several new plugins:

  • Eclipse Cross PHEV (Fiscal year 2020: before March 31, 2021)
  • The new conventional Outlander will be postponed until 2021 (fiscal year 2021: April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022)
  • Brand new BEV for the Chinese market (Fiscal year 2021: from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022)
    Joint development with GAC
  • Nouvel Outlander PHEV (Fiscal year 2022: from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023)
    “Continued refinement of our PHEV technologies”
    about a year after the ECI
  • Kei-car BEV – joint study with Nissan, no details
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The good news is that within a few months (by March 31, 2021) we should see the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV – a small plug-in crossover / SUV hybrid.

And here’s the bigger picture of new models coming to the ASEAN region where the company intends to focus:

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More interesting slides:

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