Rumors of Mitsubishi‘s withdrawal from the U.S. market arose in the midst of the recession and despite new product unveilings the reports have continued to surface. In a recent interview with Automotive News, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. President Osamu Masuko fought back stating that, "We have never thought about withdrawing from the U.S. market, and we will not do so."
Instead Masuko says he plans to quadruple sales in the U.S., increasing total volume to 200,000 units – up from the current 50,000 unit range. To do this he says the brand will need to have patience, while reducing its significant incentive program in order to create profits. New products will also play a crucial role and the launch of the new Outlander Sport compact crossover (competing with the likes of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4) is the first of those. There are also reports that Mitsubishi will bring the sub-compact Colt back to North America in response to a resurgence in small cars.
But the bigger questions for Mitsubishi have to do with its current products and facilities. In particular, the Galant sedan, Eclipse coupe and convertible and Endeavor SUV face challenges, with Masuko stating that, "it is not possible to continue with the models that we have had."
In addition, Mitsubishi has yet to announce what it will do with its Normal, Ill. production facility.
Answers to the many questions facing Mitsubishi are expected when the company unveils a mid-term business plan, which is expected to drop in November.
More: Mitsubishi Expects to Quadruple Sales With Product Shakeup Says Company President