You may have noticed that the auto industry is going through some changes. American car buyers are gravitating away from sedans and toward bigger crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. Governments around the world are raising efficiency standards and pushing toward electric vehicles at breakneck speed. And COVID-related supply chain problems continue to wreak havoc on dealership inventories.
Navigating these new and rough waters has been a challenge for every automaker, and the strategies they’re employing to appease regulators, activists, and (ultimately) consumers are as varied as the nameplates rolling onto car lots. Mitsubishi is one of the more interesting cases. If you visit their American website, you’ll only find six models on offer and none of them are electric. Rather than going all-in on EVs like GM and others, their focus has been on plug-in hybrid technology and high-volume market segments.
We reached out to the brand to find out more about what to expect from 2021’s fastest-growing non-luxury brand in the U.S. Jeremy Barnes, senior director of communications and events for Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc., wrote back to layout what consumers can expect from this Japanese brand.
Q: As an automotive manufacturer, what vehicles or technologies are you most excited about that car shoppers should also be getting excited about?
A: We believe – and have for a number of years – in plug-in hybrid vehicles, balancing the best of battery electric vehicles (quiet operation, easy overnight recharging) and internal combustion vehicles (ease and peace of mind in refueling, essentially unlimited range). Because of this, the Outlander PHEV has long been the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle. We’ll have an all-new Outlander PHEV launching in the U.S. in the second half of this year.
Q: What is your favorite vehicle in your lineup right now and why?
A: How can you choose one child over another? Seriously, it really depends what you’re looking for in a vehicle, as to which one I’d recommend. Our flagship is the all-new 2022 Outlander SUV, with seating for seven and class-above interior appointments. The Outlander PHEV is the go-anywhere, environmentally conscious SUV choice. The 2022 Eclipse Cross SUV is redesigned and presents a sporty appearance and driving experience. The Outlander Sport is a more rugged and value-oriented choice for SUV buyers and offers all the safety features a family could want. And the Mirage, available as a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback, is the most fuel-efficient gasoline-fueled non-hybrid vehicle available in the US. Seems to me there’s not a bad choice to be made there!
Q: The entire auto industry is going through a huge shift toward electric vehicles. Can you explain some of the advantages of EV ownership? And what are the advantages of owning the EVs in your line-up?
A: We’re all-in on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and the Outlander PHEV has long been the best-selling PHEV SUV in the world. We believe PHEVs offer the best balance of all-electric operation (clean, quiet, easy overnight charging) and gasoline vehicles (ease of refueling, no range anxiety), and we’ll have an all-new Outlander PHEV on sale in the second half of this year.
Q: Will you be exhibiting at any of the upcoming big auto shows (Detroit? NY? LA? etc.) so that consumers can check out your newest releases?
A: We don’t have plans to attend any of the major auto shows, but, in partnership with our dealers and dealer groups around the country, we’ll be attending a number of the smaller regional shows to show off what makes our vehicles stand out from the crowd.
Q: Do you have any big announcements coming up that you can share with car shoppers right now?
A: Well, Mitsubishi Motors was the fastest-growing non-luxury brand in the U.S. as of the end of 2021, so that’s proof customers are really interested in our lineup, and that exciting lineup is led by the all-new 2022 Outlander SUV. The other big news for us is the upcoming launch of the all-new 2023 Outlander PHEV in the second half of this year, as we’re committed to the success of plug-in hybrid technology.
There you have it. Mitsubishi looks to be committed to the “best of both worlds” approach to electrification, and rather than take too many chances – they remain focused on body styles with the most mass appeal. This makes sense to us as they don’t have the sales volume or expansive lineup to dive headfirst into EVs while consumer interest, and (importantly), electric infrastructure, remain open questions for the industry. While they may not be leading the charge on electrification, they do offer great value at a time when car prices continue to climb sky-high. Shop their latest models in your area right here at BestRide.com.