2013 New York Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage debuted on Thursday at the 2013 New York Auto Show, as the automaker mulls a plan to expand the brand's product line in the U.S.
- Mitsubishi is considering adding a midsize sedan and a large seven-passenger crossover, Edmunds has learned.
- Mitsubishi describes its current situation in the U.S. as a "transitional" period.
Mitsubishi is considering adding a midsize sedan and a large seven-passenger crossover, segments the automaker abandoned, Edmunds has learned. As part of that plan, Mitsubishi is making an effort to create more exciting-looking vehicles.
"Our designers are trying to get out from under their shell," Masatoshi Hasegawa, executive vice president of sales strategy and corporate planning for Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., told Edmunds. "I think that will be shown on our future products."
It is all part of a strategy to boost U.S. sales, which have been hard hit due to the elimination of several models in its product line. Last year Mitsubishi sold nearly 58,000 vehicles in the United States, a 27 percent drop from the previous year. The decline followed the automaker's decision to drop the Eclipse, Spyder, Galant and Endeavor.
"This is a kind of a transitional period for us. We are trying to rebuild our model lineup in the U.S. market. We are thinking about a lot of things right now, but these things take time," he said during an interview at the 2013 New York Auto Show. In particular, "we are looking at the possibility for a midsized sedan. It is under study. We are also considering a bigger brother for the Outlander" that would be similar in size to the seven-passenger Montero, which was dropped from the U.S. line about seven years ago.
The new models could arrive in 2016 or 2017, he said.
The automaker currently sells four models in the United States, consisting of the Lancer, Outlander, Outlander Sport and the Mitsubishi i, an electric vehicle.
The automaker says the Mirage minicar, the first all-new vehicle in the lineup since the 2011 debut of the Outlander Sport, will deliver 37 mpg in city driving and 44 mpg on the highway. The EPA has not yet posted official fuel-economy numbers on Mirage.
The restyled, re-engineered 2014 Outlander boosts a more refined interior and better fuel economy. It will arrive on dealer lots in the next several weeks.
The subcompact Mirage, a five-door hatchback, will go on sale this fall and give Mitsubishi its fifth model. Additionally, a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander will go on sale in late 2014, he said.
The Mirage is equipped with a 74-horsepower, three-cylinder, 1.2-liter engine and it will be priced to compete with the Chevrolet Spark, Hasegawa said. The Spark carries a base price of $12,995 including $810 for shipping. The car is assembled in Thailand.
The Mirage's standard equipment includes seven airbags and such features as air-conditioning and power windows and door locks.
Edmunds says: Big changes may be in store for Mitsubishi in the U.S.