While the dealers are celebrating Mitsubishi’s new products and profits, they continue to worry about the brand’s future. The new-generation Outlander is a big hit, but it’s one vehicle being sold in a unique supply-and-demand climate, some retailers point out. When those forces are more balanced, Mitsubishi will be at a disadvantage once again.
The Outlander Sport, despite some freshening here and there, is still in its first generation that dates back to the 2011 model year. The Mirage last underwent a redesign for the 2014 model year.
“Half the battle is the product. The new Outlander proves that,” said Ayman Moussa, CEO of Carnamic auto group in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Consumers have a low loyalty rate, so if the product is available and they like it, that is step No. 1.”
Moussa said he appreciates the Outlander redesign and the heavy freshen of the Eclipse Cross that has made it a more attractive vehicle. And shoppers coming to see the Outlander at his three Mitsubishi stores have higher credit scores and better trade-ins than previous buyers. The same is true generally for the 2022 Eclipse Cross.
But that leaves the other half of the Mitsubishi lineup sitting in limbo. With just four models.
“Mitsubishi has to basically revamp half the lineup for us to be competitive, and I don’t see that happening,” Moussa said. “Not in the near future at least.”
The only fresh model that dealers have been promised is a plug-in hybrid version of the redesigned Outlander. The current Outlander plug-in is based on the previous generation from the 2014 model year.