Mitsubishi More Than Doubled Sales Of Outlander PHEV In Japan In February

1 year ago by Mark Kane 9

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales in Japan – February 2016

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales in Japan – February 2016

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has caught a second wind in Japan since introduction of the refreshed 2016 version.

In February sales increased by 118% to 1,317.

That’s not bad, but still it will be hard to catch Nissan LEAF, which remained the most popular plug-in in Japan with sales record of 2,819.

Either way, the two plug-ins are certainly powering Japan for a much improved plug-in sales environment for 2016!

Mitsubishi’s all-MiEV versions on the other hand managed only a small fraction of Outlander PHEV sales comparatively speaking – 130 were sold in February (down from 158 last year)…which is still better than the “count ’em on your hands” results in the US of late.

source: EV Sales Blog

Nissan & Mitsubishi plug-in car sales in Japan – February 2016

Nissan & Mitsubishi plug-in car sales in Japan – February 2016

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9 responses to "Mitsubishi More Than Doubled Sales Of Outlander PHEV In Japan In February"

  1. Speculawyer says:

    Still one of the great mysteries of plug-in vehicles . . . why hasn’t Mitsubishi worked hard to get the Outlander PHEV for sale in the USA? They could have sold many thousands by now.

    1. Perfect Record says:

      Since they closed their manufacturing in the US, It seems like they don’t count on selling many vehicles here. Mitsubishi is a huge company, and selling vehicles seem to rank low on their priority list. And since they seem to be selling every Outlander PHEV they can make they don’t care where they actually sell them. But at least we still get another year of the I-miev LOL!

    2. Nix says:

      Reasons why Mitsubishi would sell first in Japan and UK:

      1) They were battery supply limited (well documented in many places) and had to choose which markets to sell in.
      2) They had to choose Japan, because they got support from the Japanese gov’t to develop electric vehicles. They would have been murdered in the Japanese press if they didn’t sell in Japan.
      3) That leaves the choice of the US or EU, since it is way, way more expensive to try and start sales in both markets at the same time. So why choose the EU?

      a) Mitsubishi’s first market in the EU was the Netherlands. They had a massive tax incentive that expired at the end of 2013. Mitsubishi sent their ENTIRE export production for 2013 (8000+ vehicles) to the Netherlands, and sold every unit they sent instantly, crushing years of Volt sales throughout the EU in just 3 months in one small EU nation. That was a no-brainer for Mitsubishi.

      b) The 20-25 mile electric range is a much better match for the EU market, where drivers typically drive much fewer miles per year than in the US. This makes a 20-25 mile PHEV burn the same amount of gas as a 40-50 mile range PHEV in the US. So there would be fewer whiners in EU about the range, unlike the tons of whiners in the US.

      c) The US tax incentive is structured for the Volt, and doesn’t fully pay out on the Outlander PHEV. Meanwhile, many of the EU tax incentives did not have the same limitations.

      d) In the EU, Mitsu sells more diesels than gas Outlanders. The diesels are more expensive. The Outlander PHEV is about the same price (after incentives) as the Outlander Diesel in many EU markets. That made the decision easier for consumers, because they don’t pay a price premium for the PHEV over the popular diesel. But in the US market, they only sell the gas version, and it qualifies for only a partial US tax incentive, so we will likely see a price premium (TBD). That may impact sales.

      e) Mitsubishi already had the i-Miev in the US, and didn’t need the PHEV for CARB or US CAFE compliance. But the PHEV did help Mitsubishi with the new 2014 EU6 standards that went into effect soon after they started PHEV sales in the EU.

      f) The Mitsubishi brand overall was dying in the US, while doing better in the EU. Investing in the EU was investing in success, investing in the US was higher risk.

      g) The political atmosphere in the US was seen as very unstable, with gov’t shutdowns, and outright political attacks against green cars (“government motors”, etc). It was not a political environment that was friendly to them entering the market, compared to the EU which had nations that were very openly friendly to electric vehicles. Politics matter.

      Frankly, the only thing the US had going for us was our SUV addiction, but back in 2013, SUV sales were actually dropping in the United States. So they couldn’t even count on that back then when they made the decision between the US and the EU.

      Sorry if this is TL, and you DNR.

      1. Nix says:

        Oh, I forgot to mention the somewhat official reasons:

        1) CARB required some technical dohickey, and that required a change to the PHEV for the US market.

        2) They were waiting for the updated face-lift version of the Outlander before entering the US market, because it wouldn’t make sense to enter the market at the very end of a model year that was considered somewhat below the standards of US consumers. They wanted to start with a big bang with the new model, not with limping into the market with an outgoing model that they would have to continue to support with parts and service. Too expensive in the long term.

        1. Paul Stoller says:

          Great post otherwise though.

          1. Nix says:

            Thanks!

      2. Paul Stoller says:

        This is wrong.

        “c) The US tax incentive is structured for the Volt, and doesn’t fully pay out on the Outlander PHEV. Meanwhile, many of the EU tax incentives did not have the same limitations.”

        The tax credit preceded the Volt, the volts battery was sized to maximize the tax credit.

        1. Nix says:

          Paul, Actually, GM’s development of the Volt, and GM’s lobbying of the Congress predated the Dec 2007 signing of H.R.6 “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007”.

          Here is GM releasing their prototype of the Volt with a 16 kWh battery nearly a year prior to that bill being passed:
          http://www.autoblog.com/2007/01/07/detroit-auto-show-its-here-gms-plug-in-hybrid-is-the-chevy-v/

          Here is the record of GM’s lobbying from Open Secrets:
          https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientbills.php?id=D000000155&year=2007

          Here is how GM disclosed their lobbying efforts:
          “Plug-in hybrids (H.R. 6); Internal Revenue Code section 280F modifications (H.R. 2276) and other vehicle tax proposals; R&D credit (H.R. 3996, H.R 2138, S. 41); alternative minimum tax proposals”

          So we know that GM was developing the Volt with a 16 kWh battery, before the legislation they lobbied for created a tax incentive that set the cutoff for the full tax credit at 16 kWh.

          It is widely acknowledged that the legislation was either written or re-written to include the Volt concept car for full incentives, and the evidence we have backs up that widely held belief.

          1. Nix says:

            oops! A little correction. While GM started their lobbying in 2007, it wasn’t actually until 2008 that the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 enacted the $7,500 fed tax incentive on 16 kWh+ equipped electric vehicles.

            More GM disclosures on their lobbying on that tax incentive in 2008:

            “credit for plug in electric drive motor vehicles; H.R.6; S.1617; S.6049; S.3098; S.3125; S.3335; HR.7060; HR.7202; HR.1424;”

            So their lobbying actually took a little longer after they had released their concept Volt than I previously posted.