Mitsubishi Is Planning a North American Comeback

It will probably involve borrowing models from Nissan.

byEric Brandt|
Mitsubishi Is Planning a North American Comeback

While Mitsubishi technically never went away, they’ve been fading from relevance in the US over the past few years. Their current lineup is uninspired and far from competitive. Mitsubishi’s chief operating officer Trevor Mann has a plan to fix that.

Mann has already managed to cut purchasing costs and combined efforts with Nissan to save the company a bunch of money in his first three months on the job. Previously the Nissan chief performance officer, Trevor Mann has experience reviving brands being a key player in helping Nissan meet CEO Carlos Ghosn’s lofty goals for the brand. Now Mann has big plans to use the Nissan/Mitsubishi partnership to get Mitsubishi back on track, particularly in the US.

We can expect to see more specific details later this year, but it sounds like Mann already has a good start on his master plan. He wants to grow the Mitsubishi dealer network in the US which currently consists of only 362 stores. He’s even talking about doing some manufacturing in the US, possibly using Nissan’s capacity.

He’s not planning on this growth happening with the Mirage, Outlander, and Lancer by themselves. Mann is talking new products including more crossovers which everyone knows is where the profits are. There’s even talk of a new Mitsubishi pickup truck, possibly on a Nissan platform. Mitsubishi is no stranger to slapping their name on another manufacturer’s truck (remember the Raider?). It sounds like a new Mitsubishi lineup will be a combination of Mitsubishi crossovers and AWD products with sedans borrowed from Nissan and/or Renault.

This bold initiative won’t be a cakewalk. Mann acknowledges the challenges the brand will face in rising back to relevance. One of the biggest challenges will be remaining patient and keeping workers motivated. It’s going to take baby steps to make Mitsubishi competitive.

If Mitsubishi can stay focused on this goal, maybe you’ll find yourself putting one of their new products on your list to consider for your next car. Will Mitsubishi manage to make waves or will they continue treading water?