Mitsubishi Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Japan Decreased In January

2 years ago by Mark Kane 6

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales in Japan – January 2016

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales in Japan – January 2016

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

In Japan, 2016 didn’t begin as well for Mitsubishi as it did for Nissan, but 801 Outlander PHEV sales is still just slightly less than 830 a year ago.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is still doing great in Europe, and with its upcoming U.S. debut (August), demand should be more than strong enough to keep the production line busy.

The worst situation playing out today in Japan is in the electric Kei-car segment (super compact), from which Mitsubishi first began its adventure with EVs.

The tiny Mitsubishi i-MiEV with a 16 kWh battery entered production in 2009 ,and was shortly followed by the Minicab-MiEV and Minicab-MiEV Truck.  Over 18,000 of those cars were sold in Japan alone, including 11,000 i-MiEV.

But in recent years sales have decreased as more able/larger plug-ins have arrived. For all of 2015, there was less than 1,300 sales reported.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Minicab-MiEV and Minicab-MiEV Truck

Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Minicab-MiEV and Minicab-MiEV Truck

Realistically speaking, sales of less than 100 units a month for three models is pretty poor from business point of view. The Minicab-MiEV Truck, which is below 1,000 cumulative sales, looks to be discontinued in March.

It’s pretty sad that the Kei-car segment didn’t take off, despite it’s perfect application for electric drive. The reason primarily is the price and the failure to upgrade their abilities with new technology/larger batteries, while EVs are expanding much more nimbly from the high-end part of the market.

Mitsubishi all-MiEVs sales in Japan – January 2016

Mitsubishi all-MiEVs sales in Japan – January 2016

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6 responses to "Mitsubishi Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Japan Decreased In January"

  1. Ben says:

    Sad they didn’t upgrade any of the cars. More troubling is the introduction of the Outlander in the US IF they don’t come with DCQC as standard. I would hate to see a great vehicle like the Outlander fall behind the other plug in SUV’s coming. Looks like Mitsu doesn’t understand the concept of upgrading technology…

    1. vike says:

      In fairness, DCQC isn’t terribly important for a PHEV. It’s hard on the battery, so intended primarily as an emergency extender, and the PHEV already has its ICE RE built-in. Unless there’s an important new PHEV CUV coming that I don’t know about, the Outlander should be fine – assuming it actually shows up in the U.S. this time.

  2. Rick Bronson says:

    Introduced in mid-2009, they are still selling the same model. And these models have the low range which is around 60 miles.

    Better they introduce a new model with a longer range.

    1. vike says:

      At least for the US market, Mitsu has indicated that there will not be a follow-on BEV microcar. It’s the i-MiEV until they exit the segment altogether. I wish they’d market them – after tens of thousands of global sales, they must have the R&D largely covered at this point, and the vehicle shares a production line with higher volume models, so there’s little incremental cost, and it addresses a market niche that will go unserved when it finally leaves. Not everybody needs 100 mi. range for their urban runabout, but an effective price <$16k makes it accessible to far more customers than any other BEV.

  3. Stephen says:

    Does GS Yuasa has improved battery technology in the pipeline? If not they will get left behind.

    1. Pedro says:

      Yes, they have increased the current cells capacity by 50%.

      http://pushevs.com/2015/11/12/gs-yuasa-new-cells/