Mitsubishi Motors Increases Investments for New Electrified Lineup

We learned what Mitsubishi Motors is up to back in May 2020 when the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance shared their plans and mid-term strategy of Alliance 2022. Basically, all eyes were on Mitsubishi to start the new lineup of vehicles from the Alliance. Three years later, we’re still waiting. The Alliance wants to open up a new electric vehicle (EV) facility to speed up development, and Renault and Nissan are already talking about investments, but Mitsubishi Motors is still holding off. Now, in March 2023, the automaker starts to speak up. Take a look at the medium-term strategy called “Challenge 2025”.

With a group shot of 16 upcoming models scheduled to launch over the next five years, we’re pretty sure that some of these models have to do with the Alliance 2030 business strategy announced in 2022. Ten upcoming EV models are already set to take the stage, with 15 plants currently manufacturing parts, motors, and batteries for those EV models. With 10 years of experience in EV Research and Development (R&D, the Alliance won’t just be releasing new models, but also sinking some money into R&D, and Mitsubishi’s new “Challenge 2025” strategy has a lot to do with more investments into R&D as well.

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Mitsubishi_logo - Mitsubishi in Miami

Mitsubishi Motors Scores High on 2022 J.D. Power CSI Study

Mitsubishi Motors has been making a comeback since it joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Winning awards and high rankings from prestigious names in the industry, just two years ago, Mitsubishi scored the highest for Premium Brands, according to the 2021 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. More than just an automaker, customer service by Mitsubishi dealerships across the nation also score high, according to the 2021 J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study. In 2023, the records for 2022 also show a high ranking for Mitsubishi Motors during the 2022 J.D. Power CSI, ranked with a high overall customer satisfaction score.

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Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart Might Get the Greenlight by 2024

Mitsubishi Motors has been going back-and-forth with its new introduction of Ralliart ever since the automaker revived the name in 2021. Placing a stronger focus on battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), as described by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance business strategy for 2030 (Alliance 2030), bringing back the group responsible for the high-performance Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and cancelled Mitsubishi Starion 4WD. When releasing the 2023 lineup, Mitsubishi Motors announced Ralliart-inspired models for the Mitsubishi Outlander, Outlander Sport, Eclipse Cross, and the Mirage. The Mirage Ralliart Edition is the first to get a release date, but another Ralliart model previewed in Tokyo might be dropping as soon as 2024.

It would seem that the next-generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV as the new flagship of the Japanese automaker was just a red herring. Straight from the land of the red Sun, reports say that Mitsubishi has plans to morph the Vision Ralliart Concept into a production model based around the Outlander PHEV model. Even if the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is still the number one leading plug-in hybrid SUV in the world, sales in North America have dropped, and sales for the Eclipse Cross continue to ride. It’s time for something fresh, and the Vision Ralliart concept blends itself with Ralliart DNA, bringing “elevated acceleration, cornering, and braking in all road and weather conditions”. It could even bring back the “Evolution” nameplate.

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Mitsubishi Reveals Specs for 40th Anniversary Special Edition Outlander and Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Motors has been selling in the States since 1982. The automaker has been in business for over 100 years, but when it comes to the states, it’s been a little over 40 years. In fact, the real 40-year anniversary was back in 2021/2022.  Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) decided to celebrate with a new generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV for the 2022 model year (skipping 2021), and then introducing a new and revised Outlander plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for the 2023 model year. Well, isn’t done celebrating its time here in the U.S., because in 2023, a new special edition 40th Anniversary model is being released for the Outlander and Outlander PHEV.

Built off of the SEL Premium package, consumers can expect a higher cost than usual for these special editions. The 40th Anniversary Special Edition of the Mitsubishi Outlander starts at $39,995 (plus destination fee). This price includes some nice additions, starting with a unique Black Diamond paint job and a unique Bronze roof. That roof also comes with a power panoramic sunroof for a clear view of the skies and a little extra sunshine when on the road. The exterior also features Dynamic Shield illumination, door scuff plates, metal cargo scuff plates, a chrome Outlander hood emblem, and a rear bumper protector. To handle any kind of driving conditions, the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of the Mitsubishi Outlander also comes with the brand’s signature Super All-wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system.

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2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Named SUV of the Year by Puros Autos

Mitsubishi Motors has been set on pumping up its lineup of SUVs over the last few years, especially when it comes to their sole plug-in hybrid entry into the North American market. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was well-received when it first hit the states, and although sales have dwindled, with many more sales for every other model in the lineup, the automaker still receives a lot of popularity from one demographic. Year-after-year, Mitsubishi can owe popularity for the Outlander and Outlander PHEV to Hispanic consumers, currently making a  three-to-one ratio of the consumer base. The PHEV variant was even named SUV of the Year by Puros Autos during the publication’s “2023 Car of the Year with a Latin Flavor” awards.

“We are honored to receive the coveted 2023 Car of the Year with a Latin Flavor award for the SUV category from Puros Autos for the second year in a row…With room for the whole family across three rows of seats, electric motoring for up to 38 miles with the added convenience of a gasoline engine, and a bold style that sets it apart from anything else on the road, the Outlander PHEV is the flagship of Mitsubishi Motors.” – Mark Chaffin, Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) President and CEO

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Mitsubishi Electric at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show

Last year, Mitsubishi Electric announced that it would be going with the theme “Smart Society” for the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show. Every year there seems to be some overarching theme, usually surrounding mobility or futuristic technology. Last year, robotics, the metaverse, and visions of what an inter-connected city dominated the show. Mitsubishi Electric was even going so far as to change industry infrastructure to include artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic companions to do jobs that may be too difficult or dangerous for a human, or even perform repairs remotely if the technician can’t be present to do them. This year, the corporation wants to present its future vision to provide technologies and solutions for five challenge areas: Carbon neutral, Circular economy, Safety/Security, Inclusion, and Well-being.

“We develop a wide range of offerings across industries such as power, transportation, home appliances, infrastructure, manufacturing, IT/communications and others, all of which are vital contributors to growing a smart society…That puts us in a unique position to gather data-driven, cross-industry business insights that can improve our offerings and support the interconnection of people-centric technology and systems that are hallmarks of a truly sustainable smart society.” – Mike Corbo, President and CEO at Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.

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A Review of Mitsubishi Motors Success and Awards in 2022

Over the last several years, Mitsubishi Motors has been a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and although the automaker is supposed to lead the Alliance as the first to release a new model in a specific region, we have yet to see anything come from the sharing of resources with Renault-Nissan. Mitsubishi seems more focused on sprucing up its existing lineup with new generation models, like the next-generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport , and adding special Mitsubishi Ralliart editions. One reason could be because of the great acclaim Mitsubishi does receive from consumers and automotive journalists time and again. 2022 was quiet, but the Alliance 2030 promises a lot of good things in the near future.

Knowing consumer loyalty like no other, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander was voted as the SUV of the Year by Puros Autos during their “Latin Flavor Cars of the Year 2021” awards. The Hispanic market has known to be vital to Mitsubishi Motors success and sales, with one-out-of-every-four-cars purchased in the U.S. is by a Hispanic consumer. Not only this, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has the highest percentage of Hispanic buyers in the industry. Recognized by another Hispanic publication, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander was also named Crossover Utility of the Year by the Hispanic Motor Press during their annual Hispanic Motor Press Awards.

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Mitsubishi Holds Onto Outlander PHEV as Flagship Model

Mitsubishi Motors has been very focused on its current lineup and sprucing up many of its SUV models. We received a next generation model for just about every model, such as the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, Outlander Sport, Outlander PHEV, and the 2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. This focus on the models that also sell the most may have changed some opinions on introducing a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) as the star of the show. According to Mark Chaffin, Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) president and CEO, the Outlander PHEV is still holding its title.

“Since its launch in March 2022, the gasoline version of the all-new Outlander has been a homerun, setting sales records monthly even in the face of global supply challenges…When sales begin in the U.S., the 2023 Outlander PHEV will take its place as the flagship of the Mitsubishi fleet. It is the most advanced and best-equipped vehicle we have ever sold, and it is the perfect blend of quiet and clean electric motoring with the range and ease of refueling of a gasoline-powered vehicle.”

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Mitsubishi Mini EV Car Wins the 2023 RJC Overseas

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is still in talks of splitting up the Alliance into two separate branches for gasoline-powered vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs). With the auto market shifting towards a more electrified lineup, more focus is being given to what automakers are doing in regards to EVs and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), partner Mitsubishi Motors grabs some spotlight for the Mitsubishi mini EV kei car in Japan. Overseas, the Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC) concluded its run for the RJC Car of the Year for 2023 and named the eK X EV (pronounced “eK ‘cross’ EV”) as the winner.

Overseas competitions may not reach stateside news, but this all-electric kei-car also nabs the sixth win for Mitsubishi Motors during RJC of the Year. Recently discussed to be a product result of a collaboration between Mitsubishi and Nissan, the eK X EV is a new EV model in the eK X series produced by Mitsubishi Motors in Japan. A series of kei cars designed for more space and wagon modifications, the automaker has been working towards more environmentally-friendly vehicles since the production of the i-MiEV, the world’s first mass-produced EV capable of driving on the highway. No longer sold in America, this model has expanded into its own Minicab model, sporting a new EV platform in production.

“Utilizing the electrification technology that Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have cultivated over the years, the eK X EV has achieved reduction in size and cost. While conforming to the standards of a kei-car, it has been perfected as a model with enhanced product appeal. The electrification technology is highly recognized as a cornerstone technology of future small EVs.” – RJC selection committee

The new ek X EV could be another platform that could see mass production. According to recent reports, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has four new platforms currently in development to launch a lineup of 35 new EV models by 2030, with a new EV platform set for production in 2024, and another compact EV platform by 2025. It has been undisclosed if either series of the Mitsubishi EV models are using one of these new platforms, but the win could mean good things for future EV models in the global lineup. The aforementioned split of the Alliance requires an investment into a new EV plant Renault and Nissan are already talking numbers for, with Mitsubishi Motors yet to give an answer. Perhaps this win for the ek X EV will be enough proof to spur the automaker into the investment.

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Mitsubishi Motors Wins Asia Cross Country Rally 2022 with Ralliart Tritons

Mitsubishi Motors has been testing the limits and the capabilities of its lineup in recent years. Although no one would think of Mitsubishi when they hear the word “off-road”, it may be a nameplate that comes to mind when someone says “rally cars”. The automaker started in America as a rally car racer, and the Lancer Evolution is still fresh in the minds of many rally drivers. Mitsubishi is even starting to design Ralliart editions of several models in its lineup, starting with the Mirage Ralliart Edition. Mitsubishi has also entered the Rebelle Rally in recent years, a 10-day, 2,000 km navigational course to test its might. Put the two experiences together, and we have the recent Asia Cross Country Rally 2022, which Mitsubishi entered with a Ralliart Triton.

What is the Triton? An overseas vehicle we have yet to see here in America, the Mitsubishi Triton is a pickup truck that the automaker could really do well with if they brought it stateside. However, with a focus on SUVs, even with the midsize pickup truck opening up, Mitsubishi is instead testing the waters of its sports car days with Ralliart editions of models currently in its lineup, and the Ralliart Triton is a good indication of what a Ralliart-infused model can do. The Mirage Ralliart Edition is mostly just racing stickers and a color scheme, but for the Asia Cross Country Rally 2022, Mitsubishi needs to do a little more to make the Triton rally race ready.

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