It feels like a long time ago that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was formed, and just this year, the automotive group got back in the spotlight when announcing the mid-term plans for the Alliance going forward. A new strategy, with the Coronavirus pandemic causing a lot of hardship for many industries and markets, automakers are quick to find a way to bounce back. To do that, they need to focus on the auto markets that show them the most love, and for some reason, North America isn’t one of them. Recently, the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) its own set of mid-term plans for the next three years, and it would seem that this is only solidifying the plan.
When we first learned of the midterm plans for the Alliance, it all sounded pretty good. If anything, the three automakers seemed to be blending together more, sharing technology, body platforms, and even whole vehicles. To keep competition between the three automakers going strong, instead of releasing the same vehicle in every region, the automakers will release a new vehicle, one-by-one, in a region that works best for them. For Mitsubishi, that’s the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). However, this doesn’t mean Mitsubishi Motors will have full control over the ASEAN region, but more so, it will be the first automaker to release a new vehicle in that region, and it’s successful, Renault and Nissan will release something similar in their regions before releasing something for the ASEAN.
The Alliance called it a “Follow-the-Leader” strategy where one automaker rolled the dice, and if successful, the other automakers would follow suit. That brings us to the upcoming model from Mitsubishi Motors, set to be a part of the C/D car segment, so either a subcompact car or a large vehicle – not many details at this point, but we probably don’t need to get our hopes up. Recently, Mitsubishi Motors announced its own plans for bouncing back after the Coronavirus, and it seems the automaker is focused on saving itself while chasing after new tech.
We can’t really blame Mitsubishi for pulling on the reins a bit. It’s time to rebuild. However, we don’t think anyone expected something as drastic as placing a freeze on the sale of new models, starting with Europe. Called the “Small but Beautiful” plan, the MMC will be concentrating its resources on the ASEAN region where it is most competitive, while further enhancing unique and competitive automotive technologies, for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), electric vehicles (EVs), and even hydrogen-powered vehicles (HEVs). Mitsubishi FUSO Mitsubishi FUSO Truck and Bus Corp. have already started on the production of hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks, but we won’t see it until closer to 2030.
This may not sound great for the North American market, but we’re not really missing anything at the moment. Aside from the Mitsubishi pickup truck that’s been doing really well in other markets, the next vehicle on the list for release aside from the mystery C/D car is the next generation of the Mitsubishi Xpander MPV and Xpander Cross SUV – one is a multi-purpose vehicle (just a fancy word for a minivan) and the other if a crossover/SUV? The minivan segment is all but dead in America, and the market is already oversaturated with SUVs and crossovers. We only hope the new technologies to come from Mitsubishi will find their way to the states, as there were some pretty neat concepts last year, like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer PHEV and Mi-Tech Powertrain.
Time will only tell what happens next for the Japanese automaker. Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.