Could a Pickup Spark the Comeback of Mitsubishi?

America must have a soft spot in its collective heart for Mitsubishi.

Theoretically, the company should have gone the way of Suzuki years ago, yet it still hangs on in the U.S. market and has proven itself as a scrappy little brand that is liked by just enough people to keep it running. As you may remember, Nissan purchased a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi last year, and a U.S. rebirth for the brand would fit with CEO Carlos Ghosn’s goal to turn that alliance into one of the top three automakers in the world.

Could the addition of a few more vehicles bring the small Japanese automaker back to glory? Continue reading >>>

The End of the Small Automaker?


What if there were no more small automakers?

The automotive world continues to consolidate, and large automakers either push the smaller ones out of the market or swallow them up as part of an expanding empire.

It’s not too hard to imagine a world without small car companies, because they don’t have much of a presence in the United States. Suzuki left the market, Mitsubishi is a small player, and Subaru is only popular in cold climates. A few supercar manufacturers and startups exist to serve a tiny niche, but most of us are never influenced by their success or failure.

Recent news from the Toyota and Nissan camps demonstrates that carmaker consolidation shows no signs of slowing down.

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Mitsubishi: Goodbye to the Old, Hello to the New


Mitsubishi doesn’t make the news cycle very often, especially when it comes to product-related news. The brand has, unfortunately, had plenty of coverage in recent months regarding its manipulation of fuel-economy results on vehicles in Japan.

Nothing guarantees news coverage like a scandal.

Mitsubishi’s admission of wrongdoing led to a heavy drop in stock value, a billion dollar net loss, and Nissan’s virtual takeover of the embattled company.

Still, though, the company is moving forward with new products while it phases out the old.

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Nissan Takes Control of Mitsubishi


Nissan will take a controlling stake in Mitsubishi after the latter’s fuel-economy scandal in Japan.

The scandal arose when Mitsubishi admitted it had falsified fuel-efficiency tests on at least 13 models over the last 25 years, resulting in a firestorm of negative publicity in its home market.

Mitsubishi said its investigation showed that company managers, under pressure to keep pace with fuel-economy rates reported by competitors, fabricated numbers while using procedures to calculate efficiency that did not comply with Japanese law.

The scandal has not had an impact in the United States and no cars here are affected. In fact, U.S. Mitsubishi sales have increased over the past year.

In Japan, though, the company is reeling, which has prompted Nissan to swoop in with a lifeline.

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Mitsubishi’s Fuel-Economy Issues Haven’t Hurt U.S. Sales


Mitsubishi doesn’t sell a lot of cars in the United States.

The Japanese automaker has teetered for years on the brink of pulling out of the market, but has managed to sustain itself within a tiny niche of affordable entry-level vehicles. There was a time when the company offered a full stable of vehicles, including the Endeavor SUV, Eclipse coupe, Galant sedan, and, of course, the cult-favorite Evolution.

Today’s lineup includes variations of the Outlander small SUV and a couple of miniature cars, the Lancer and Mirage.

Mitsubishi has certainly flown under the radar in recent years, which could be why a new scandal involving deceptive fuel-economy claims has gone largely unnoticed in the U.S.

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10 Kinds of Cars We’d Buy to Share

A Ford van empties at school

With the exception of a home, a car is the most expensive purchase a person will likely make (and we hope that home and car aren’t the same thing). Considering the improvements in safety, powertrain, and infotainment technologies, it’s not surprising to see vehicle prices rising at or above the rate of inflation. So, with the fiscal scope of a vehicle purchase firmly in mind, we have to ask: why don’t more people share cars? We posted an earlier article about the prevalence of ride-sharing services and their impact on consumer purchasing trends. While Uber and Zipcar have certainly given drivers more ways to get around, car ownership still seems to be the clearest path to unlocking the flexibility and freedom that a set of wheels can provide.

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Can an Electric SUV Save Mitsubishi?


When a car company begins to flounder, it has three options:

Keep doing the same things and hope sales come back. Plan to substantially upgrade cars and add models to the lineup. Go electric.

Mitsubishi is the definition of floundering in the U.S. market. With Suzuki out of the picture, Mitsubishi is next in line to pull out. The automaker, though, has stood firm on its plans to commit to keep selling cars here, and it seems it has chosen option 3 as its plan of action.

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Cars Coming Soon: Mitsubishi’s Offensive Includes Subcompact Sedan

Mitsubishi G4 Concept

Mitsubishi G4 Concept

Last year, two car companies in America were on death watch.

Suzuki closed up shop on its North American operations not long after speculation of impending doom began, while Mitsubishi looked to be close behind on the way to the exit.

As we’re closing in on the midway point of 2013, it seems Mitsubishi could be on the verge of a turnaround. The company will need a pretty intense product offensive to lure customers back into showrooms, but a couple new Mitsubishi vehicles coming down the pipe could be just enough to save the brand.

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Cars We’ll Miss, and Some We Won’t, in 2012

BMW Active Hybrid X6

New years always promise to bring big changes. The year 2012 will be no different, with some changes sure to be good and some…not so much. One thing for sure, 2012 will arrive very soon, but some cars won’t live to see the end of it.

The Detroit Free Press put together a list of cars that will fade away during the course of the next year. Some of the cars will be sorely missed, while others should have crossed over to the great junkyard in the sky years ago.

Keep reading for a list of the cars that didn’t make the cut to exist past 2012.

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Five Car Brands Better Off Dead

Have you ever taken the time to flick through a list of every car brand that has ever graced the planet?

To put it simply: There have been a *lot*. Wikipedia has a list broken down by country, with automakers from Angola to Uruguay, past to present. The U.S. alone has its own dedicated page of hundreds of current and former automakers.

There have been so many that only a small percentage exist today. Which of course begs the question: When we look back 50 years from now, which auto brands will exist only as entries in an online encyclopedia? We’ve already witnessed the demise in the last two years of more brands than kicked the bucket in the previous 30.

And I think there are a few more that would be better off dead or at least yanked from U.S. market.

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