Mitsubishi and Suzuki on Life Support

Mitsubishi and Suzuki on Life Support

Ask anyone who’s been watching and they’ll probably tell you both Mitsubishi and Suzuki are living on borrowed time in the U.S. market.

Pick either brand. You’ll find a shrinking lineup and diminishing market share that both bode poorly for any future against strengthening automakers like Hyundai and Kia. Despite being in the midst of a growing industry, up 14 percent, Mitsubishi’s sales have suffered 29 percent through July with a total of 37,067 units. Suzuki claimed less than half of that with 15,260 cars sold, but also only dropped 4 percent.

In either brand’s case, there’s trouble brewing. Suzuki’s product range only includes the Kizashi sedan, Grand Vitara SUV, Equator pickup, and SX4 subcompact as a hatchback, sedan or crossover. While that’s probably a variety competent enough to keep strong products and their brand alive, that isn’t the case with Suzuki’s dated fleet.

Significantly worse, Mitsubishi will offer a restyled Outlander next summer and a plug-in hybrid version of the SUV in 2014, but that seems to be the extent of its product updates. Worse yet, the brand has axed four of its U.S.-built cars: the Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, Galant sedan and Endeavour crossover.

Despite suffering sales of an obviously aged product line, both brands are insisting that they have a future in North America – but it’s hard to see.

“You can rest assured that our long-term future product plan will consist of introducing numerous new models in the global marketplace that … will be perfectly suited for the U.S. marketplace as well,” Mitsubishi spokesman Roger Yasukawa told Automotive News. “The U.S. is a very important market for Mitsubishi Motors and we will continue to monitor the U.S. market demand and trends to input toward our long range product plan.”

[Source: Automotive News]


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