Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Reaches 100,000 Sales


Mitsubishi is wallowing in a sea of bad news lately, after news got out last week that it has been intentionally misrepresenting the fuel economy of some of its cars for the past 25 years. But it does have one bright spot in its corporate story. The Mitsubishi Outlander has now sold more than 100,00 units. It is the fourth plug-in/electric car in history to do so. The Nissan LEAF is the overall leader with 218,000 sales worldwide. The Tesla Model S is next with 120,000 sold, followed by the Chevy Volt. Along with its rebadged siblings in overseas markets, it claims 110,000 sales globally.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Outlander PHEV has been a sales hit Europe, where 66,000 have been sold. It is seen as an affordable alternative to the plug-in SUV offerings from Volvo, Porsche, and BMW. Its numbers are surprising because it has yet to sell one car in the United States, a market that is hungry for plug-in SUV’s. For reasons that are hard to fathom, Mitsubishi has decided to keep the Outlander PHEV out of the American market ever since in went on sale in 2013.

Mitsubishi has perseverated for years about the shape of the tail lights and what the front grille should look like. Even though it showed what it says will be the final design of its hot selling plug-in SUV at the New York auto show recently, it is still futzing with details. The latest reports say it is thinking about altering the battery pack ahead of a scheduled US introduction in November of this year. Its constant dithering amounts to corporate malfeasance at the highest levels.

By the time Mitsubishi pulls up its socks and begins actually selling the car here, it will have several competitors and will be stuck doing what Mitsubishi has always been forced to do in the American market — compete strictly on price despite the fact that it has a pretty good product. Now that the Outlander PHEV is almost here, potential customers will have to hope its fuel economy cheating scandal doesn’t put the company out of business before the car ever goes on sale in America.

Source: Hybrid Cars  Photo credit: Mistubishi


About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • Marc P

    I just rode in one, this morning, at a local electric vehicle fair. I was told it was the 2014 European model, for demonstration purposes only, and not the final 2016 (or 2017??) model, that will be available this fall here in Canada. I have to say I was very impressed with the vehicle’s ride, very solid feeling and with better than expected acceleration on electric power alone. It’s no Tesla S…, but then again, that’s not what I was expecting.

    I’m not in the market for a new vehicle until at least 2-3 years, but this one is definitely on my “top 5 list” for my next vehicle which will be a PHEV SUV. Actually, for the moment, it’s the ONLY vehicle on my “top 5 PHEV SUV” list… since it’s the only one remotely in my price range…!

    • Steve Hanley

      Which is precisely why they should hurry up and get the damn thing to North America. While they diddle over details, their advantage in the marketplace is being eroded.

      • Marc P

        There was a Mitsubishi national sales director on site and he told me that, back in 2012 he “announced” the Outlander PHEV would be available in Canada in 2013… and we all know how that went…! He told me what we all know…, that they did not think the vehicle would be such a hit worldwide and they had only secured a set number of battery packs per year which is why they couldn’t bring it to N.A. sooner. He told me they have now secured 40 000 battery packs a year which should help them meet demand. He seemed fairly confident and optimist they would have enough models available here in Canada to meet demand. Time will tell.

        • Steve Hanley

          That’s good input, Marc. Thanks.

          Perhaps I have been too harsh on Mitsubishi management. Hope the car finally gets here later this year.