Mitsubishi Midsize Pickup Truck Coming to America? It's Possible, Says Brand Exec
It would compete directly against midsize trucks like the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, and Toyota Tacoma.
Aiming for its seventh consecutive year of growth, Mitsubishi in the U.S. is, financially speaking, on the up and up. Much of its success has a lot to do with the fact that its current lineup is 75 percent crossover—out of the four models it sells in America, the Mirage is its only "car." The company now says its mulling over a fifth model and no, before you get your hopes up, it isn't talking about an Evo XI.
In an interview with WardsAuto, Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Mark Chaffin says the company is interested in bringing out a compact pickup truck in a similar vein as the recently-reintroduced Ford Ranger. "We would like to have [a pickup], but we'd have to have one that's the right fit for Mitsubishi, for our demographic, and something that's really competitive in the market," Chaffin told Wards.
What's more, the publication reports speaking to a Mitsu dealer last year who said the most requested product at the company's U.S. dealer meetings is, "a pickup truck, a pickup truck, a pickup truck."
It wouldn't be the first time Mitsubishi has had a truck in its U.S. fleet. The company sold the Dodge Dakota-based Raider from 2005 to 2009 but found little success, reportedly being outsold by the Toyota Tacoma by more than 49-to-1 in 2008.
Overseas, however, Mitsu continues to offer a pickup to this day. The one-ton, Thailand-built, Triton or L200 (its name varies depending on where you are in the world) is sold in 150 countries and was just refreshed with the Japanese automaker's new corporate fascia last fall.
Just last month, an Automotive News report pegged Mitsubishi as developers of a new body-on-frame truck platform that'd underpin a new Triton as well as the next-generation Nissan Frontier.
Hey, whatever pads Mitsubishi's pockets enough for them to do that elusive, eleventh Lancer Evolution.