Published on March 15th, 2015 | by Subhash Nair0
Waiting For The New Lancer? Don’t.
The Lancer has been one of the most popular Mitsubishi sedans for decades, representing not only the bulk of engineering and design work that went into early Proton cars, but also spawning a large following of its own based on its rally roots. So it may come as a disappointment to many that Mitsubishi hasn’t anything serious planned for the nameplate.
At the recent Geneva Motor Show had Mitsubishi showcase a number of new electric drivetrain technologies and a bunch of SUVs. That more or less encapsulates what the thinking is at the Japanese car company now. The victims of this new philosophy are the more iconic models, such as the Lancer.
Chief Operating Officer Tetsuro Aikawa expressly stated that Mitsubishi would not be developing new sedans in the foreseeable future. He also indicated that the costs involved in developing a new Lancer could not be easily recovered given how competitive that segment of the market is. Mitsubishi’s feet are planted firmly in electric vehicles and 4X4s.
So what becomes of the Lancer? For now, the plan is to keep selling the current model for as long as it can be sold. It’s a plan that might work, but even if costs can be significantly lowered, it’s difficult to see the appeal of buying a car released nearly a decade ago.
Mitsubishi feels this new direction is in the company’s best interest. However, splitting the company’s focus between petrol-guzzling SUVs and emission-free vehicles gives the impression that Mitsubishi is either hedging its bets or suffering a split personality. And more importantly how is Subaru going to deal with the absence of a new Evo to compete against?