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.
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