Mitsubishi is back. Anyone who thought they were on their death bed a few years ago can look at recent sales and realize that reports of the Japanese automaker’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Now, they hope to expand on their recent success with a big push for the new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.
This represents the latest in a series of changes for Mitsubishi. They have always kept product development, marketing, and sales in different silos but have recently changed their mentality to bring all of the different arms of the team together while designing new vehicles.
“It was hard for engineers to sit in that room with sales guys and hear what was wrong at each stage of the redesign,” said Don Swearingen, Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Motors North America. “Sometimes it got uncomfortable in that room.”
Their goal is to shift gears to help their second most popular model leapfrog the subcompact Mirage. Profitability is maximized on larger vehicles rather than on the lower ticket item. The Mirage starts at $12,995 while the Outlander will start $10,895 higher. This shift will be good for more than the manufacturer. Mitsubishi dealers will appreciate the better margins possible on the new SUV.
Some of the known changes include: standard alloy wheels, available leather in lower-level trims, a plug-in hybrid option that won’t be available until next spring, and noise reduction that will make it the quietest Mitsubishi on the market.
The current model is selling at a modest pace of about 1,100 per month. The July release of the new Outlander is projected to bump sales by over one-third, bringing it to the 1,500-1,600 units per month range.