Mitsubishi is considering bringing a new pickup truck and sedan to North America as it looks to revive its business in the U.S. and Canada.
The Japanese automaker’s new Chief Operating Officer, Trevor Mann, is plotting a major revival of the once embattled brand. Mann, who was placed at the helm of Mitsubishi after Nissan acquired a 34 percent controlling stake last year, says the specifics of the automaker’s revival are still being decided on, however the United States, China and Southeast Asia will serve as its target markets.
For the U.S., Mann envisions a new sedan and a new pickup truck bringing Mitsubishi the most success. Mann thinks a shared pickup platform between Mitsbushi and Nissan “would be quite an appropriate thing,” for the brands to do amid the current popularity of pickups in the U.S. As for the sedan, it’s likely it would ride on an existing Nissan architecture to save costs.
Mann also wants to begin manufacturing Mitsubishi vehicles in the U.S. again. The Normal, Illinois factory that built the Outlander Sport crossover was shuttered in late 2015, but with its Nissan partnership, having a North American production site is once again a viable option for Mitsubishi. Keeping with its cost cutting measures, it’s likely that it will move into an existing Nissan plant rather than constructing a new site. Nissan currently operates two U.S. plants in Tennessee and Mississippi.
If new product is on the way, Mitsubishi will need a place to sell it. It’s U.S. dealer network isn’t minuscule – it currently consists of 362 stores, however Mann thinks there’s room for expansion still.
“We need to start to grow. We need to start to improve our network,” Mann said. “We can reopen many things.”
[Source: Automotive News]