Mitsubishi’s Push Into Hybrid SUVs Marks the End for i-MiEV and Lancer

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Mitsubishi’s Push Into Hybrid SUVs Marks the End for i-MiEV and Lancer

Mitsubishi will be focusing on electrified crossovers and SUV models for the U.S. market.

The company is enjoying a successful rebound in the U.S. and will continue growing by offering three electrified crossovers in the next five years. The company also plans to open a new technology office in Silicon Valley next month but will be closing its only manufacturing plant in the country.

The Japanese automaker’s CEO, Osamu Masuko recently told Automotive News in an interview that Mitsubishi would channel limited resources into a more compact lineup, meaning there will likely not be a successor to the Lancer or a dedicated electric vehicle to replace the i-MiEV.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Arrives with $20,445 Price Tag

Instead, Mitsubishi will launch a new small coupe-styled crossover after the fall of 2017 that will slot between the Outlander and Outlander Sport, as has been reported in the past. Following that, a redesigned Outlander will debut while the next-generation Outlander Sport won’t come until around 2019.

As for the near future, the company will launch the Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid variant of the current Outlander by the middle of 2016.

“We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the U.S. market. We have changed direction,” Masuko said. “We are going to allocate more resources to the areas where we are strong in the U.S.”

[Source: Automotive News]

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