Mitsubishi Brand Overhaul Means Big Used Bargains Ahead

Mitsubishi Concept Global Small

Mitsubishi has been struggling for years in the U.S. And so, by 2014, the company plans to replace all its U.S. models—with what we don’t yet know. But one car to emerge (at Geneva) will be the Concept Global Small, shown above, to replace the Colt in 2012 and spearhead eight new green cars by 2015.

If ever there was a carmaker with global ambitions, it is Mitsu. The Small will be made in a new factory in Thailand. There are, or will be, plants in the U.S., Japan, China, Russia, the Netherlands, Philippines… anyway, there are about ten.

Scrapped will be the Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, Endeavor and Galant sedan. The Outlander, Outlander Sport and Lancer sedan will get new versions, built in Illinois and based on their present platforms.

All that turmoil means you’ll be able to pick up some pretty decent cars at bargain prices in the next year.

Mitsubishi cars have never really caught on in the U.S., and it’s because they haven’t been able to stand out from their mid-market competitors, Toyota and Honda. Cars like the Outlander crossover (right) are well-built, with good engines, but they are bland and blah, even in a bland-and-blah segment.

But I think they will be good bargains in the used-car market, as they are not overpriced to start. Let’s look at the Outlander. DealFinder shows some fairly good values for these cars today, but you can be sure that prices will drop as the car is phased out for the new model. Cars like the Galant, which will be dropped altogether, should be even better values.

Mitsubishi’s target is not only the emerging economies of India and China but, finally, a real presence in the U.S. According to Left Lane, the Illinois plant can produce “a quarter million vehicles” a year but now only outputs 30-40,000.

So Mitsu has the capacity to expand production. Now it needs to design some cars that people really want.

Have you owned a Mitsubishi car? Which one? What did you think of it?

—jgoods

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

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Used Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
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