Earlier this year, in April 2018, CNBC did a report on “The Rise of Burly High-Performance and Off-road SUVS and Trucks”. This report looked at brands like Ford, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, Chevrolet, and Jeep. CNBC also covered the current trend of trucks and SUVs with data from LMC Automotive that predicted how this trend will affect the auto market four years from now. In the shifting automarket for SUVs and trucks, and U.S. sales rising for trucks and SUVs, will Mitsubishi deliver their new 2019 Mitsubishi Triton pickup truck to American shores?
The 2019 Mitsubishi Pickup Truck
Known as the Mitsubishi Triton, or the L200 depending on the country the model is sold in, the new pickup truck from Mitsubishi is a redesigned and improved version of its predecessor. Sporting the “Dynamic Shield” and other design cues from the Mitsubishi Outlander, the new truck has been brought into the modern age. With advanced safety features, such as a Forward Collision Mitigation system, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and an Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System. All of these together help the driver avoid accidents on the road, as well as avoiding other incidents in tight spots, like a parking garage.
What’s interesting about this new pickup truck from Mitsubishi Motors is that the truck is also off-road capable. Equipped with an enhanced four-wheel drive (4WD) system and two off-road systems, “Super-Select 4WD” and “Easy-Select 4WD”, a new off-road a system has been built for the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton. Designed to handle various terrain and driving conditions, both systems can handle gravel, mud/snow and sand 4WD-high and -low mode, and rock only in 4WD-low mode.
Based on the data, this combination is getting a lot of support in America.
Look at this graph by CNBC based on data from LMC Automotive.
The sales of passenger cars is expected to continue to descent, with just a little over 5 million units sold in 2018 (by April of 2018), and an expected less than 5 million by 2022. Truck and SUV sales, however, will be on an exponential increase, having gone upwards from 10 million units since 2016.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has their Ram 1500 Rebel and Ram 2500 Power Wagon, both sold with off-road trims and packages available. Jeep® has many off-road vehicles, some with a Select-Terrain Management system much like the system Mitsubishi has equipped onto their new truck. Chevrolet also sells off-road trucks. With Mitsubishi Motors joining in on the trend, what’s the problem?
The problem is, for now, Mitsubishi Motors will not be bringing the new 2019 Mitsubishi Triton pickup truck to America. With Mitsubishi Motors doing much better in Europe, and its presence in America just now starting to build up again, it would seem the automaker isn’t willing to gamble when they were approaching bankruptcy just two years ago.
“[‘Are we ever getting a new truck from Mitsubishi?’]…[that’s the] first question out of every dealer’s mouth whenever I have a meeting” – Mitsubishi Motors North America CEO Fred Diaz told Fox News Autos during an interview.
So why the reluctance? We’re not sure. The auto market and sales for trucks, especially those that go off-road, is growing. Even Jeep, with the Jeep Wrangler-based pickup truck, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, is jumping on that horse.
Maybe Mitsubishi Motors is running a sample batch for 2019 to make sure they got it right, like they did with the small-scale FUSO eCanter truck production. Nothing worse than re-introducing a model to a whole country and realizing you didn’t quite hit the nail on the head. With sales and demand growing, we think Mitsubishi should get some advice from their partners in the Renault-Nissan alliance about sales in America. After all, with Mitsubishi, Renault, and Nissan all sharing parts, one has to wonder if Nissan and/or Renault have luck with their trucks in America. Join the discussion on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.