Sunday, July 26, 2015

End production in Mitsubishi Motors plant in the United States

Links to this post
End production in Mitsubishi Motors plant in the United States

Tokyo, July 27, 2015 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today that Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) a wholly owned subsidiary of MMC in the United States, is preparing to end production of its sole production model "Outlander Sport" at its Normal plant at the end of November 2015 and its production will be consolidated in Okazaki plant in Japan, pending a final decision by the MMC Board of Directors on July 30.

MMNA will be making efforts to identify a buyer with the help from United Auto Workers (UAW).

Mitsubishi Motors' production in the United States started in 1988 as Diamond Star Motors (DSM, later re-named as MMNA) which was a joint venture company with Chrysler Corporation.
DSM has become a wholly owned subsidiary of MMC in 1991 after MMC bought all DSM shares owned by Chrysler Corporation.
In 2000 the production volume reached more than 222 thousand units, but after that the plant faced very steep reduction in production units due to, among others, the end of OEM supply for Chrysler Corporation and the economic crisis. In 2009, the production volume bottomed as low as 18.5 thousand units.

From 2012 and onward MMNA started production of Outlander Sport not only for North American market and but also for Russia, Middle East and Latin America markets, in order to secure production volume to gain production efficiency and improve utilization.

With the recovery of North American market, production volume increased to 70 thousand units in 2013, however, which is scale-wise low compared to other automobile assembly plants in North America. Then production order from Russia, which accounted for more than 30% of the total production volume, significantly dropped since the second half of 2014, due to Russian economic crisis, which caused the production volume of MMNA plant to be even lower.

Taking the aforementioned situation into account, MMC decided to end production at Normal plant and consolidate the production Okazaki plant in Japan and Outlander Sport will be exported from Okazaki to North American as from next model year.

As the US market is expected grow even more in the future, it will continue to be a very important market and Mitsubishi Motors will continue to make efforts to grow its brand value and increase its sales volume in the US market.

[Outline of MMNA]
1. Location: (Head Office) Cypress, California
(Plant) Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
2. Register Capital: 398,812 thousand US dollars
3. Shareholder: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
4. Representative: Gayu Uesugi, Chairman of the Board and CEO
5. Number of Employees (June 2015): (Total) approximately 1,650 (Plant) approximately 1,250
6. History

  • Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Chrysler Corporation jointly established Diamond Star Motors (DSM, later re-named to MMNA) and started production there in 1988
  • In 1991 MMC bought all shares of DSM which are owned by Chrysler Corporation
  • Starting with "Eclipse" and later addin "Galant" "Spider" "Endeavor", between 1988 and 2012, MMNA produced the models marketed mainly in North America market for Mitsubishi brand, and also supplied vehicles to Chrysler Corporation under contracts until 2005.
  • Currently MMNA is producing "Outlander Sport" for global market.
  • Maximum production volume was 222 thousand units in 2000
  • Production volume in 2014 was 69 thousand units
  • Accumulated production volume is approximately 3,250 thousand units

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Outlander PHEV Takes On Baja Portalegre 500 Challenge

Links to this post
New Outlander PHEV Takes On Baja Portalegre 500 Challenge

- Developing EV and 4WD technology in X-Country Rallies -

TOKYO, June 18, 2015 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) is to enter an Outlander PHEV, the only twin-motor 4WD in production today, in the Baja Portalegre 500 cross-country rally due to be held in the Portalegre municipality in the eastern part of Portugal October 22 through October 24 this year.

The race vehicle will be driven by Mr. Hiroshi Masuoka of MMC who won the Dakar Rally two years in succession in 2002 and 2003. Mr. Masuoka also will be playing a role as the team captain. The team competing in the Baja Portalegre challenge mainly is constructed and led by MMC personnel including the team manager and technical director Mr. Yasuo Tanaka, Expert from EV Component Research Department, Development Engineering Office and engineering supports by four engineers from his department.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New L200 Challenger Has Stunning Looks And Best Ever Value For Money [UK]

Links to this post
CIRENCESTER – Mitsubishi Motors in the UK is pleased to announce the new L200 Challenger - the best value for money pick-up ever from Mitsubishi Motors in the UK.

The Mitsubishi L200 pioneered the pick-up segment with its refined engine and high levels of safety, comfort and equipment. The company continues to innovate in the pick-up market by adding the L200 Challenger to its already robust, versatile and appealing range.

The L200 range comes with the longest warranty of any pick-up truck in the UK – five years or 125,000 miles. It is also available with a three-year fixed price service plan at £600 and a range of finance options, including Contract Hire.

Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has sold over 130,000 L200 pick-up’s since the launch in 1987 and continue to be a strong contender accounting for 20% of the overall pick up market.

The new addition priced from £16,499 is fully loaded with value adding specification. L200 Challenger goes on sale from 1st January 2015.

    175 bhp engine
    Super Select 4WD system
    17” alloy wheels
    Cruise control
    Climate control air conditioning
    Automatic rain and dusk sensors
    Privacy glass
    Leather steering wheel and gear shift knob
    Optional leather seats
    Long load bed
    Available in all colours in the existing range;

The new L200 Challenger comes with renowned Mitsubishi reliability as standard. But for even greater piece of mind all it comes with the Mitsubishi Assistance Package (MAP) which includes 24/7 UK home and roadside breakdown assistance, and European roadside assistance in over 30 European countries.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Outlander PHEV Completes Australasian Safari 2014

Links to this post
Outlander PHEV Completes Australasian Safari 2014
Plug-in hybrid SUV proves again its durability in another grueling off-road race

Tokyo, September 29, 2014 - With technical support from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia*1 (TMR Australia) entered a plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV in the Australasian*2 Safari 2014 cross-country rally, which took place in Western Australia from September 19-27. The TMR Australia rally car crossed the finish line after completing the 3,529 km grueling course in a total time of 57 hours 49 minutes 14 seconds to finish in 19th place overall while also winning its class. The Outlander PHEV encountered two accidents, once on Leg 4 (September 24) and one on Leg 6 (September 26) which dropped its ranking but this performance proved Outlander PHEV's outstanding all-terrain performance in Western Australia's deserts thanks to its Twin Motor 4WD powertrain and its Super All-Wheel Control integrated vehicle dynamics control system, and that MMC's own Plug-in Hybrid EV System is more than capable of withstanding the punishing road conditions encountered during the rally.

1: Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia is a private team based in Australia.
2: "Australasian" refers to a geographical region which includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and neighboring islands in the Pacific Ocean.

·  Rally car outline
Competing in the A1.6 Class for production hybrid vehicles, the Outlander PHEV rally car was built to meet FIA specification with only minor modifications made for durability and safety. These included a roll cage and different fuel tank to meet safety regulations as well as the use of competition suspension, tires, brake pads and an underbody skid plate. It used the same plug-in hybrid EV system and S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system as the production model.

·  Summary of results
The Outlander PHEV, which has only been on sale in Australia since April this year, moved off the Ceremony Start ramp on the first day of the Safari, Friday September 19, attracting great interest as the only plug-in hybrid vehicle in the rally. In the Prologue the next day, it finished an impressive 15th out of the 26 vehicles competing in the Autos class. When the Safari proper got under way the next day on September 21, Outlander PHEV showed its paces as, with assistance from its Twin Motor 4WD system, it successfully navigated unmade road surfaces, having stored extra electricity using the system's energy regenerative function on even surfaces. Outlander PHEV finished 17th overall in Leg 1 on September 21 which featured high-speed sections, very rough and bumpy surfaces, and desert-like sandy sections. In Leg 2 on September 22, it finished 16th overall and in Leg 3 the following day it moved up to 13th overall bravely managing to minimize the time lost after suffering three punctured tires. However, disaster struck in Leg 4 on September 24 when Outlander PHEV smashed its steering gear box as it went over a large bump during the special stage in the second half of Leg 4 on September 24. This caused the team to withdraw from Leg 5 the following day and after receiving a penalty time of 16 hours 50 minutes, Outlander PHEV dropped to 17th place overall. In Leg 6 on September 26 Outlander PHEV suffered another setback as it suffered severe damage to its left side suspension while trying to overtake slower competitors, forcing it to temporarily stop for repairs. A penalty of 16 hours 42 minutes was assessed, dropping Outlander PHEV to 20th place, however Outlander PHEV swiftly completed Leg 7, the final leg with the second best time for the segment, finishing the event in 19th position overall.

·  A word from Yoshihiko Ototake, Technical Director
We proved just how reliable and durable the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System is in the Asia Cross Country Rally over the last two years but in order to gather more data in a variety of environments we decided to provide support for the Team Mitsubishi Ralliart entry in the Australasian Safari this year. The Australasian Safari presents an extremely demanding road environment with very long stages which are mostly over tough gravel surfaces as well as over craggy terrain and deep sand, surfaces which we were not able to experience in the Asia Cross Country Rally and which were more extreme that we had imagined. Outlander PHEV smashed its steering gear box on Leg 4 and left side suspension on Leg 6 but it rejoined the rally and managed to cross the finishing line without further trouble. In doing so it successfully demonstrated the high reliability and durability of the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System which delivered trouble-free performance. I'm also very satisfied that it proved the capabilities of the Twin Motor 4WD and S-AWC systems which helped it traverse desert-like sandy terrain where many four-wheel drive pickups and SUVs were getting bogged down and stuck. I am looking forward to utilizing the many kinds of data we gathered in the course of the Safari in our future electric vehicle development.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mitsubishi Motors Donates Two 100% Electric i-MiEVs to the City of Ulan Bator

Links to this post
Tokyo, September 24, 2014 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that it has donated two units of the i-MiEV new generation electric vehicle (EV) and one electric vehicle charger unit to the city of Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia. On September 15, a delivery ceremony was held in Ulan Bator with Capital City Governor and Ulan Bator Mayor Mr. Bat-Uul Erdene, Mr. Takenori Shimizu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia and other government officials.

Ulan Bator has set environmental protection as part of its principal administrative policy and particularly is taking active initiatives in measures against air pollution. The city is highly interested in EVs which do not emit exhaust gases that worsen air pollution such as carbon dioxide, nitric oxide (NOx) or other particulate matter (PM) while driving. At the delivery ceremony, Mr. Bat-Uul Erdene expressed his intentions: "I hope to raise awareness on environmental protection and to reduce importing fossil fuels through popularization of electric vehicles in the future."

In July of this year, the Japanese government and Mongolian government largely came to an agreement on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Both governments are proceeding together towards eliminating taxation on automobiles and automobile parts within ten years once the agreement comes into effect. Economic exchange between the two countries is expected to deepen in the future. MMC will support environmental protection in Mongolia through initiatives to popularize EVs as well as building and expanding the Mitsubishi Motors brand in the country.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Outlander PHEV Concept-S

Links to this post
Tokyo, September 22, 2014 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will present the world debut of the Outlander PHEV Concept-S at the 2014 Paris Motor Show*. The Outlander PHEV Concept-S is a concept model based on the Outlander PHEV 4WD SUV plug-in hybrid vehicle.

* "Le Mondial De L'Automobile 2014." For more information please visit (English)
MMC also will be displaying total of 11 vehicles (5 on press day) including the Outlander PHEV rally car that competed in the FIA Asia Cross Country Rally 2014, European specification production models, the i-MiEV and other electric powered vehicles (electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV)).

1. Overview of the Outlander PHEV Concept-S

The Outlander PHEV Concept-S is a concept model presenting a special design package for the production Outlander PHEV. The exterior and interior design are created under "Sporty and Sophisticated" design theme. The design expresses driving pleasure by delivering powerful and agile driving performance as well as quiet, advanced and high quality driving performance provided by its Twin Motor 4WD and Plug-in Hybrid EV System.

(1) Exterior

Meant to symbolize the functionality and reassuring safety inherent to Mitsubishi Motors' SUVs, the front end design shields the Three-Diamond mark with bold chromed accent moldings on either side - a three dimensional effect - in a further suggestion of motion.

Wraparound headlamps contribute themselves to a sense of dynamism sweeping gently up and outwards.

This "protective theme" continues at the rear where similar symbolic chrome accents – topped by elongated combination lamps - run from tailgate to wings meant to express dynamic and innovative styling as if bracing the vehicle for better safety. The body color uses a brilliant "Platinum White" with glass flake finish.

(2) Interior

Contrary to the sparkling exterior design, the "Black & Burgundy" color scheme interior design offers a refined quality passenger compartment.

In particular, Concept-S' interior design makes use of painstakingly executed detailing to express precision, quality, craftsmanship and sophistication such as:

-  Black woodgrain trim with silver accent

-  The center console designed inspired by Japanese traditional black lacquered boxes

-  Soft fine leather, hand-stitched by craftsmen selected for the seat upholstery

Furthermore, the seat upholstery forms a three-dimensional surface with horizontally-ribbed cushioning providing superior fit, while the use of trimming lines is formed so as to gently follow the body contours holding occupants snugly in place.

Silver accents of the trimming lines, curving around the seat, further enhance the perceived quality of the interior.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fiat Group Automobiles and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation sign MOU on potential vehicle co-operation

Links to this post
Fiat Group Automobiles and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation sign MOU on potential vehicle co-operation

Fiat Group Automobiles and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announce that they have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the possibility to develop and manufacture a mid-size pick-up truck, supplied by Mitsubishi and based on the next generation of L200.