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Mitsubishi could return to the pickup segment in America

Don't look for a Mitsubishi-badged truck in the near future, though.

The compact pickup segment is booming in the United States thanks in part to new entries from Ford and Jeep. Mitsubishi hasn't sold a truck on our shores since 2009, but it's open to the idea of challenging the Ranger and the Gladiator sooner or later.

"We would like to have [a pickup], but we'd have to have one that's the right fit for Mitsubishi, for our demographic, and something that's really competitive in the market,” said Mark Chaffin, the COO of Mitsubishi's American division, in an interview with WardsAuto.

The last pickup Mitsubishi sold in the United States was the Raider, a re-badged Dodge Dakota. As WardsAuto pointed out, it didn't do well at all. The Japanese firm sold only 2,935 examples of the truck in 2008. That was admittedly a dark year for the automotive industry, but Toyota managed to sell nearly 145,000 examples of the Tacoma in 2008. While Mitsubishi still sells a truck named L200 (pictured) in many global markets, but we're unlikely to see it in American showrooms.

However, Mitsubishi is allegedly in charge of developing the platform that will underpin its next-generation truck in addition to pickups sold globally by Nissan and Renault. The model built on that architecture could find its way to the United States, though it's not expected to make its debut until the middle of the 2020s.

Mitsubishi's American dealers have repeatedly requested a pickup to sell, and executives have told them that they're listening, but the company hasn't made a firm commitment to returning to the segment. It hasn't ruled out a comeback, either.

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