Mitsubishi to cancel most U.S. models, freshen lineup by 2014
Following several years of dismal sales in the U.S. market, Mitsubishi has announced a comprehensive plan to wipe most of its U.S. lineup and switch to global cars.
Mitsubishi Motors has been faced with several years of declining sales in the U.S., aside from a small increase last year, and as a result the Japanese automaker is ready to make drastic changes in order to rejuvenate its lineup.
The new plan that is set to change the faces of virtually every car in Mitsubishi's lineup is known as "Jump 2013," which aims to eliminate U.S.-only vehicles and focus on global products. As a result, Mitsubishi will axe the Eclipse, Endeavor and Galant by 2013.
Among other changes will be the introduction of as many as six new electric, gas-electric hybrids and plug-in hybrids by 2015. The Japanese automaker does intend to continue producing vehicles in the U.S. at its only plant, located in Normal, Illinois. Currently, the automaker produces somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 annually in the plant, despite capacity of a quarter million vehicles.
Mitsubishi intends to tap into the unused production capability and produce vehicles in the U.S. for global export. This change is part of the automaker's overall global strategy that includes making changes in order to reduce its environmental impact through more efficient vehicles and production. The vehicles that will replace the canceled models have not yet been identified.
Mitsubishi's plans call for 5 percent of total production volume in 2015 to be electric-powered, which is part of the larger goal to reduce emissions by 25 percent.