Mitsubishi is planning to introduce five new models in India by 2016, as it is rethinking its model strategy for the country. With the Outlander, Cedia and Evo X failing to generate volumes, Mitsubishi stopped selling these cars last June. While the Pajero Sport has been selling in decent numbers, the Japanese carmaker plans to add two more SUVs and two small cars to its portfolio in India.
Mitsubishi is globally recognised for its Lancer Evolution or ‘Evo’ sports sedans. But the story in India has always been different, the brand has been known here for the Pajero and to some extent, the Lancer. The former is a huge SUV which has always been a status-symbol while the latter still has a cult following amongst racers.
Ken Horinouchi, Executive officer and corporate General Manager, Asia and ASEAN office, Mitsubishi said in an interview to Autocar Professional that the cars will be initially imported as CBU with assembly at HM’s Chennai facility planned at a later stage. The two small cars will include a hatchback, the Mirage and a sedan, the Attrage, while one of the SUVs is expected to be the new Outlander.
Mirage is a moniker which has been used for a range of cars produced by Mitsubishi from 1978 to 2003, though it is currently used only on the compact hatchback. Powered by a 1.2-litre three-pot engine, it will go up against the Maruti Celerio and Hyundai i10. Globally the car is offered with either a manual or a CVT gearbox. Depending on how well the Mirage is received, the hatchback will be followed by the Attrage. Essentially a sedan version of the Mirage, the car uses the same powerplant from the hatchback, producing 77bhp and 100Nm of torque. Measuring 4.2m in length, Mitsubishi will probably reengineer the sedan to make it eligible for the government’s concessions for sub-four-metre cars.
The two SUVs to be introduced will be lifted from Mitsubishi’s global lineup, one of which is expected to be the 2014 Outlander. The lack of a diesel engine in the last Outlander was one of the biggest reasons why the car failed in the Indian market and it will be interesting to see whether Mitsubishi rectifies this with the new car.