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Mitsubishi: exiting the U.S. is "probably not" an option

by Ronan Glon

The company wants to overhaul its approach to America.

When Suzuki's car-building division left the United States in 2012, many speculated Mitsubishi would be the next automaker to throw in the towel. The company is still present in America seven years later, and it's likely committed to our market.

Takao Kato, Mitsubishi's next CEO, told industry trade journal Automotive News that leaving the United States market is "probably" not an option. He admitted the company's product plan needs a complete overhaul, however.

"Sales are being continued. North America is one of the biggest markets. Therefore, exiting from the sales market would probably not be an option," he said.

Automotive News reported Mitsubishi's American plan will closely mirror the one it's implementing across all regions, albeit with different products. Called "small but beautiful," the plan calls for chasing profitability, not all-out volume. Mitsubishi wants to grow, and some analysts would even argue it needs to grow, but it would rather grow slowly and make money than grow quickly and lose money.

The company's tie-up with the Renault- Nissan Alliance opens several doors. Mitsubishi now has access to platforms developed by its partners, and it can let Renault-Nissan use its own technology to offset the cost of developing it.

Joint projects are already in the works; the next-generation Mirage will allegedly share its platform with the fifth-generation Renault Clio introduced during the 2019 Geneva auto show. Conversely, insiders suggest Mitsubishi is in charge of developing the architecture that will underpin the next generation of pickup trucks from Nissan and Renault. Mitsubishi's version of the truck could find its way to American showrooms, according to an earlier report.

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