Mitsubishi Slashes $9,100 Off i-MiEV Price in Japan

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 24

Now Priced $9,100 Less

Now Priced $9,100 Less

Recently, sales of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV have been abysmal.  We could point you to i-MiEV sales in Japan, Canada or even the US in recent months to prove our point, but we’ll spare you the pain.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Initially Sold Well on the Global Level, But Lately Sales Have Declined Sharply

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Initially Sold Well on the Global Level, But Lately Sales Have Declined Sharply

Mitsubishi recognizes that sales have slipped off significantly and, as such, is responding with a massive price cut.

Reuters reports that Mitsubishi will cut the price of the i-MiEV in Japan by up to $9,100.

For those who prefer percentages, the $9,100 price cut works out to a reduction of approximately 25%.

Substantial?  Absolutely.

The i-MiEV now starts at approximately 2.9 million yen in Japan ($29,015 US), but can be had there for an after-incentive price of roughly 2 million yen ($20,010 US).

A Mitsubishi Motor spokesman told Reuters this:

“The main purpose of cutting the price is to strengthen our ability to sell these cars.”

Meanwhile, the entry-level M (10.5 kWh) i-MiEV gets a price cut in Japan too, which brings its MSRP down to 2.5 million yen ($25,013 US) or an after-incentive price of 1.7 million yen ($17,009 US).

To date, Mitsubishi has produced 30,000 or so i-MiEVs.  It was once a hot seller on the global level, so perhaps these substantial price cuts will return it to its former glory.

Source: Reuters

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24 responses to "Mitsubishi Slashes $9,100 Off i-MiEV Price in Japan"

  1. David Murray says:

    I doubt it will help. There are just too many other plug-in cars that are so much better.

    1. Assaf says:

      David,

      A valid point, but the availability of all competitors (save the Leaf) is patchy…

      Mitsubishi already has the (relatively) high-volume capacity and know-how to crank those out, probably on the cheap. They can compete in the low-end EV market (presumably with the Smart ED and Twizy where the latter are available), while the obviously better Leaf dominates the midrange.

      The price slash seems to be a move in that direction.

      Of course, longer-term, to salvage its brand image in the BEV segment and get better premium, Mitsubishi must come out with a better-quality car. Is that plan in the works? Does anyone know?

      1. David Murray says:

        The sad part is I’d rather have a PiP than an iMiev. But yeah, here in Texas there aren’t many plug-ins to choose from. We have the Volt, Cmax Energi, Fusion Energi, Focus EV, Leaf, and i-Miev. I think I’d have to go out of state to get any other car, even a Tesla.

  2. Ocean Railroader says:

    This really sounds like the Price was over bloated to begin with and that is why they had such a monster price cut vs stopping production of the car. Not to mention maybe battery costs going down maybe 10% or 20% along with it.

  3. Francis L says:

    i-Miev really needs a big price cut to make sell again. In 2014, their will be a lot of competition, including the Spark which is pretty cheap. And nobody will choose the i-Miev with similar price tag compare to the Spark. But if Mitsubishi can manage to sell this car around 15 000$, it will probably be a hit!

    1. Assaf says:

      The Spark EV *could* be a formidable competition, if the geniuses at GM were planning to make and sell it more broadly…

      ….which, as they clarify for a zillion times, they aren’t. Likewise for the other compliance subcompacts (Fit and 500e).

      At this point, it seems that if Mitsubishi plans to ship deeply discounted MiEVs to the US, its main competition will be the Smart ED.

  4. I think it could help. 25% off of $30k makes the price $22.5k, which means with a federal credit of $7500, you’ve got a clear price leader at $15k! In PA (if you could get one before year end, and get the $3k rebate) it would be only $12k!

    With those prices the low lease rates of $99 would be possible and that gets a lot of people who are price conscious to think about how much they could save in gas, without much additional outlay in cash. If they have use of another (gas) car anyway for other uses, bingo … it’s a no brainer.

    I suspect the cut won’t be as dramatic in the US (perhaps only down to $25k [or the stupidly psychobabble price of $24,899 or something]), it still gets it way down below anything else. Will be interesting to see when they finalize prices and options.

  5. Anderlan says:

    I would happily buy a Miev for $9100! Oh, you mean $9100 off. I remember when it was the cheapest EV deal in North America just a couple of years ago. That’s actually some pretty fast progress for the market.

  6. offib says:

    Mitsubishi really needs to give the i-MiEV an update, a complete overhaul!
    It’s as compatible to the i-MiEV that come out in Japan in 2009. The i-MiEV is under its skin a 4, nearly 5 year old car!
    Like what happened to Nissan, Mitsubishi is suffering from the high Yen and import costs. At this stage, the electronics such as the inverters and chargers should be dirt cheap. Mitsubishi could move the i-Miev chassis construction to its Normal, Illinois plant (if that’s possible).
    It’s just not going to work if they’re not going to attempt to make it competitive. Best if they do let all of the inventory to sell out and not make a single one more until they find a solution!

    Overall, I think Mitsubishi is or should be more concerned about getting the Outlander PHEV out as fast as possible and to its goal, the US market, hopefully a head of schedule to not let the contenders catch up (Tesla Model X).

  7. Dan Frederiksen says:

    Much too little much too late.
    Most of the japanese automakers must have some really old guys at the helm. Not a lot of mobility there.

    “The main purpose of cutting the price is to strengthen our ability to sell these cars.”

    Sherlock, eh
    It’s a small car, that’s what kei means. Small. But I’m not an irrational american who thinks it’s too small to be practical. It will transport 4 people in comfort and it can keep up with traffic no problem. But it shouldn’t cost big car money. It’s a 10000$ combustion engine car with a 3000$ battery pack. How does that translate to 37k$.. or 30 for that matter.
    Morons.

    1. alohart says:

      I think your cost analysis is quite flawed. No way does the 16 kWh battery pack cost only $3,000. Just the cells for my old-school 1.2 kWh NiMH Honda Insight battery pack cost almost $2,000 when imported directly from China. This doesn’t include any of the electronics, case, cooling, etc.

      The North American i-MiEV was widened 4″ to meet side impact crash safety standards, so much of the body is not shared with the rest-of-world i-MiEV making these low-volume parts more expensive than one would want. The front and rear bumpers and impact zones had to be redesigned as well. So your $10,000 car was probably considerably more expensive, especially when considering the exchange rate which was pretty unfavorable in the early i-MiEV years but which has improved recently which should allow Mitsubishi to lower the price.

      But as has been stated, the i-MiEV is relatively old and needs a redesign. Apparently Nissan will be working with Mitsubishi to do just that, but not for 2014.

      1. Spec9 says:

        Dan has long had unrealistic views on battery prices.

        1. Pedro says:

          The 16Kwh battery pack costs Mitsubishi about $5,000, but don’t expect they sell them for that if you want one. When the Miev was launched in 2009 Mitsubishi said that in Spring of 2013 when the last Yuasa battery plant would be open, the price would be 1/4 of the original.

          http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/02/gsyuasa-20120219.html

          The myth of the high battery prices was always the excuse for the car manufacturers to not sell electric cars and fooled a lot of people.

          This is a good car for the city but it’s overpriced. They could sell them for $15,000 and made a profit if they wanted to. But as usual in these things they preferred to exploit early adopters…

          Tesla already has the Kwh for less than $200. Go figure…

          People still believe that the prices they see in retail of the Lithium-ion cells is the same car manufacturers (who buys big quantity from factory) pay for them.

          Try to buy Panasonic 18650 cells in ebay and the price you get is about $800 per Kwh, not the same Tesla has…

          Keep believing that they can’t drop the price, poor car manufacturers, they would sell affordable electric cars, only if they could…

          People wake up!

          1. Spec9 says:

            $5000 is much more than $3000. 67% more.

      2. Dan Frederiksen says:

        There is nothing wrong with my analysis and this is the japanese version of the car in question. The US version is entirely irrelevant.
        Since you sheepish minds have such trouble believing my actual insight into battery costs you can search back for when Martin Eberhard made his last statement about battery costs and do a bit of math. If you don’t know who that is you can google that as well.
        The irony is that even though he should be an authority you sheep just still can’t believe that that’s the real battery cost. You have some inexplicable need to believe the liars like GM or the spectacularly clueless analysist from various retarded institutes.
        When I tell you that LGchem is currently selling their cells well below 200$/kWh it’s because that is the damned price. They can actually be bought from resellers below 200$/kWh so of course the factory prices that GM pays for the Volt cells are not more expensive than that. Similarly the cells Tesla use also have known prices that are similar. Unlike you I don’t rely on some sheep intuition for the prices, I regularly inquire and I pay attention.

        Sigh, why must everyone always be so damned obtuse.

  8. Still Waiting says:

    I actually think the abysmal battery warranty is the main thing they need to address. When I looked into the car when they first hit the US, they considered 10%/yr (or per 10K miles) degradation as “normal”. Makes the Leaf warranty at 70% in 5 years look downright generous.

    Just goes to show how important thermal management is for battery life. AFIK, those are the only 2 using a “passive” system (no liquid cooling).

    1. I agree the battery warranty is a bit nebulous, but I don’t think you can call it abysmal. The warranty is 8 years or 100k to keep 70% of capacity. So, 30%/8 is 13k/year … in which case, good for you – you’re probably saving a lot more money on gas to make up for a battery replacement, but it’s still would be much less than 10%/year.

      After 12k and 16 months, we’ve not noticed any reduction in range for our car and not heard of any problems not addressed well by Mitsubishi with regard to the battery pack.

      1. Don’t know what happened to my post …

        But I meant to say the warranted capacity loss is < 4% a year, assuming you'll hit 8 years before 100k. If you drive enough to hit 100k before the 8 years (13k/year) you'll get more degradation (probably), but you'll be saving lots more per mile, so it doesn't make as big a difference.

  9. James says:

    Closeout sale.

    I’m going to check the availability on Overstock.com

  10. Cavaron says:

    It doesen’t need a 9k price cut, it needs an ethanol heater, 24kwh battery upgrade and lets say a 5k price cut. Would love to have one. Could beat the smart with +2 seats, cheaper price and better cw so most likely better range.

  11. Spec9 says:

    Just get rid of it in the US market. It won’t sell. A bigger battery would help but at this point, even that won’t be enough due to competition from the Fit EV, Spark EV, Leaf, Fiat 500e, etc.

    Work double-time on getting your SUV PHEV here.

  12. Suprise Cat says:

    There are more improvements than just price cut.

    – heat pump
    – electric heated seats in front default and for back seats optional
    – LED front lights (optional?)

  13. Dave K. says:

    I’m sorry to say I just don’t think a car this small will sell in the US, it’s irrational but below a certain size we just don’t consider it. It will sell in Europe and Asia if the price is right but not here. I think the Leaf is about the minimum size car that will sell in large numbers here.

  14. Bill G. says:

    The iMiEV is a great little car. Very useful and CHEAP to operate. Mitsubishi however, does not appear to be committed to getting it out there. NO advertising, NO inventory in the US, NO promotion at EV events, NO next generation model. It’s probably just a test run for technology use in future models like the plug in Outlander. I’m hoping Mitsubishi has something up their sleeve that is an outgrowth of the little iMiEV that will wow the world.