Who would have thought that? Europe's best-selling Plug-in hybrid vehicle does not come from Toyota, Mercedes or the Volkswagen group. Currently the Mitsubishi Outlander the hit list of alternative drives. The SUV model found over 3.000 buyers in the first two months of this year alone. Great Britain and the Netherlands are the best PHEV markets in Europe. In the UK, more than 2014 units were approved for the first time within ten months after their market launch in June 10.000. Not least because of generous subsidies from the state. In absolute terms, the plug-in Hybrid Outlander even overtook pure battery cars in Great Britain such as the Nissan Leaf (on the market since 2011).
Mitsubishi wants to consistently continue on its “green” course. It can be heard from the company's headquarters in Japan that 20 to 25 percent of its new cars will be equipped with plug-in hybrid or purely electric drives in the next five years. Based on the annual production volume - the forecast is 1,5 million units - this would be between 300.000 and 400.000 cars that have an alternative drive under the hood. The “Concept XR-PHEV II” study at the Geneva Motor Show in March recently showed that some of them will be of an extravagant style. The compact SUV is the successor of the ASX, after Mitsubishi's best-selling model in Germany.
The new, around 4,40 meter long ASX will roll out to dealers in 2016 and will also be offered as a plug-in hybrid. CO2 emissions of less than 40 g / km are promised. The ASX will continue to be built in Japan. The cooperation with Citroen and Peugeot, who sell the ASX in a slightly modified form under their own brands as C-Aircross and 4008, is expiring.
Not before 2017 Mitsubishi renewed its Cross-country vehicle legend Pajero, whose rally version has won the Dakar twelve times. However, customers should not hope for a soft-washed Boulevard SUV. The Pajero will be much more comfortable, but remains an all-wheel drive workhorse. One also wants to hold onto the tensile load of 3,5 tons because Pajero owners like to pull big trailers. In addition to a powerful diesel engine, the plug-in drive that is currently in the Outlander should also be used. This model will be given a major overhaul this year. Mitsubishi even speaks of a new generation. Chassis and drivetrain have been improved and fuel consumption reduced.
The Outlander is also the first Mitsubishi to use the brand's new design language. In the future, the PHEV model (PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) will be more visually different. Also from 2015 (September) the one from Thailand rolls Pick-up L200 in a new outfit at the start. Mitsubishi is removing the single cabin from the range, while the double cabin and sports cabin will continue. The Japanese also leave the Lancer (notchback and hatchback) in their portfolio, although sales in Europe are at homeopathic level.
Only the fate of the potent sedan and all-wheel drive athlete Lancer Evo is sealed. This model is no longer offered. The next generation of the Lancer is not expected before 2018/2019. But Mitsubishi should not have an easy time with that either. Competition in the compact golf and co. Segment is too strong
Since the takeover by the Emil Frey Group a year ago and the associated restructuring into the German sales company MMD Automobile GmbH, Mitsubishi has been posting increasing sales in Germany (14 percent last year compared to 2013) in its books. The first quarter of 2015 looks promising too. Just under 7500 new registrations mean an increase of 57 percent. Mitsubishi had a market share of 2014 percent in Germany in 0,8. The goal for this year is 1,0 percent.
Author: Michael Specht / SP-X