Interview With Mitsubishi North America VP On Outlander PHEV In U.S.

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 21

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors North America, sat down with Wards Auto at the 2016 New York International Auto Show to discuss the Outlander PHEV.

The U.S. spec Outlander PHEV got its introduction in New York and will go on sales in the States this Fall.

Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A session between Wards and Swearingen:

WardsAuto: Why come out with a PHEV now, with gasoline prices low and the market not exactly demanding PHEVs?

Swearingen: A year ago, no one expected gas prices to be where they are. I would think that in another year we’re not going to see gas prices where they are today. With the world as it is, we’ve got to make sure we are prepared. We need to be very environmentally conscious. You’ll see some new Mitsubishi CUVs coming out and they’ll all have either plug-in hybrid or fully electric versions.

WardsAuto: Does that government mandate have more to do with Mitsubishi introducing this vehicle than does a market wanting a new PHEV?

Swearingen: Yeah, but certain people truly are interested in this vehicle. It isn’t for everybody, just like an electric vehicle isn’t for everybody. But we have many customers telling us they are interested in it.

In Europe, it is the top-selling PHEV with over 50,000 sold. So there’s a great market. Yet, we need to make sure we have vehicles that fit all customers’ needs.

WardsAuto: What is the primary lack of consumer education?

Swearingen: They just don’t understand the technology or what plug-in electric hybrid means. With this vehicle, you don’t have to plug it in if you live in, say, a high- rise apartment without ready access to a charging source. It’s not a big issue. On the other hand, you have the ability to plug it in if you can or if you want.

Swearingen concluded the interview by stating that he currently drives an Outlander PHEV and absolutely loves it.  How hypocritical annoying the North America VP got to have one early while the rest of us suffered.

For the full interview, click the source link below (subscription required).

Source: Ward’s Auto

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21 responses to "Interview With Mitsubishi North America VP On Outlander PHEV In U.S."

  1. Speculawyer says:

    Did someone smack him on the forehead like Mr. Fawlty did to Manuel all the time and ask him why the Outlander PHEV has been years late in the USA?

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Oh wait . . .

      “WardsAuto: Why come out with a PHEV now, with gasoline prices low and the market not exactly demanding PHEVs?”

      Someone needs to slap that interviewer!

      1. Speculawyer says:

        “Swearingen: They just don’t understand the technology or what plug-in electric hybrid means. With this vehicle, you don’t have to plug it in if you live in, say, a high- rise apartment without ready access to a charging source. It’s not a big issue. On the other hand, you have the ability to plug it in if you can or if you want.”

        OK . . . I think some WWE wrestlers need give both of these guys a Stone Cold Stunner.

      2. David Murray says:

        It’s a valid question since much of the public is asking the same question. A lot of people assume driving electric (or a hybrid) serves one of two purposes: Saving the planet, or saving money.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Well, that is a question that has a very obvious answer to people with a clue but I guess the average person is pretty clueless. The obvious answer is that cars are on designed with a very long time scale . . . it takes 5 to 7 years from the initial greenlighting of a car project until it rolls off the assembly line. You don’t look at the market, decided on a car design, and new cars roll off the assembly line a month later.

          But he actually gave a good answer in that gasoline prices are very volatile. Sure, gas is cheap now but a year or two from now they might be $4/gallon again. Or $5/gallon. The fracked wells in the USA are going to slow down over the next year and we’ll burn off the current glut. Higher gas prices are pretty much guaranteed at this point unless economies go bad and Iran & Iraq greatly increase production.

  2. bro1999 says:

    I swear, the Model 3 will come out before the PHEV Outlander.

  3. Aaron says:

    I’m disappointed the PHEV version is only 5-passenger while the gas version is 7-passenger. Yes, I know the battery took the floor space, but I would have loved the extra passenger carrying capability in a PHEV.

    1. Spec says:

      Well, that is good news for Tesla.

    2. gsned57 says:

      Completely agree. this would have been one of the contenders for my $$$ even if it had a 3rd row of seats with shorter leg room. Mostly going to be young kids back there anyway.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Will the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV minivan have the desired 3rd row of seats for you?

        1. Jay says:

          Yes, the Pacifica PHEV will have all seven seats, it just loses the middle row ‘stow n go’ feature. Pacifica ‘hybrid’ has replaced the Outlander PHEV at the top of my wish list for this reason, even though I’m 100% satisfied with Mitsubishi engineering after over 75,000 miles in the iMiEV and I don’t trust that the engineers in Detroit have been unleashed by their bean counters (or that Chrysler’s talent pool is deep enough after all of their upheavals over the last decade).

          1. Speculawyer says:

            75K miles in an iMiEV? Very impressive. Did you have the Chademo port and nearby Chademo charger so you could fuel up during the day?

            1. kosee says:

              75 miles per day. 1000 days. Seems to fit as the I miev is already on the market for a while. Doesn’t need chademo daily for that.

              1. Speculawyer says:

                Well that is pretty tough to do in a car with an EPA rated 62 miles of range.

            2. Carsten says:

              I have 50,000Mi in 32 month on my MiEV & love it.

            3. Ken says:

              Not my iMiev but i put 64,000 miles on my 2012 Leaf in 2.5 years and it didn’t have a chademo port. Very easy to do when round trip to work everyday was almost 70 miles.

  4. pk says:

    “Mitsubishi CUVs coming out and they’ll all have either plug-in hybrid or fully electric versions”

    So maybe BEV version of the RvR. I’d consider that.

  5. Ct200h says:

    Moving at a glacial pace.

    Huge opportunity missed.

  6. Mike says:

    “Don’t hesitate to move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me.”

  7. jeff says:

    Any word on price points?

  8. Reecho says:

    I have just bought one as a stop gap before the model 3 arrives in Oz. Fantastic steer….!!