Just last week, Mitsubishi announced that it would cease production of all its American-made cars by 2014. In almost the same breath, they have declared their intentions to bring eight plug-in hybrid and electric cars to market by 2015.
Right now Mitsubishi’s worldwide car sales account for just one million units in 2010. In the U.S., it has about a 3% market share. So its not a company on par with any of the big players. But Mitsubishi is feisty, and apparently they’re banking big time on hybrid and electric models, as they’re putting the kibosh on two very well-known nameplates (Eclipse and Galant) and a money-making SUV (the Endeavor).
So what’s in store for the soon-to-be-idled Illinois plant? Mitsubishi is going to build more small cars, based on the Lancer and Outlander platforms, most likely at their Illinois plant. But their promise of plug-in hybrid and electric cars means there is a good chance they might make such vehicles right here in America. The all-electric i-MiEV goes on sale in the U.S. later this year, but Mitsubishi will need more than that to compete with the likes of Toyota and Ford. There’s an electric city car and van in the works among other vehicles.
With eight electrified models to choose from, can they compete, or will they be overcome by the bigger automakers?
Source: Green Car Advisor
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.