Sources report that production of the Mitsubishi Lancer will cease in August 2017, and what’s worse is that there’s no replacement as of now. The move is due to the shift of buyer preference towards crossovers and SUVs globally.
There was a time when the Lancer was at the forefront of all of the brand’s activities, however, sales has been dwindling over a period of time. With close to 69,000 units of the Lancer sold in North America in the year 2002, the number has seen a steady fall to the current 14,000 units sold in 2016.
Mitsubishi Motors North America’s CEO, Don Swearingen, added that the company has no plans to replace the Lancer with another C-segment car despite knowing that they would lose out by a bit. He also admitted that plans to discontinue the Lancer were made well in advance of the Renault-Nissan alliance.
Mitsubishi says that their Mirage hatchback and saloon are key to the brand’s success at the moment, and new versions are expected to be revealed around the year 2020. Armed with both the Mirage and their upcoming compact crossover, Mitsubishi believes they have the models needed to keep the sales chart spinning for the American market.
However, it goes without saying that the exit of the revolutionary rally-bred Lancer will be felt amongst purists. Will we have to gear up to see more SUVs in the ‘Fast and Furious’ series around the turn of the decade? Time will tell.