Mitsubishi Dealerships In U.S. Asking For More Outlander PHEV SUVs

3 weeks ago by Steven Loveday 64

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

It seems U.S. customers really want to get their hands on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and dealerships are requesting more.

After years of missed U.S. launches, interest in the Outlander PHEV has seemingly grown. Of course, there are always those that are irritated with the automaker, but others just want their car already.

Comparing Mitsubishi to Tesla rarely happens, however, the company’s struggle to get its vehicle where it needs to be in a timely fashion may end up having the benefit of increasing interest and demand.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

A look inside the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

As we previously reported, Don Swearingen, COO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, believes that this new (to the U.S.) plug-in hybrid SUV may be a final effort from Mitsubishi to prove itself in North America. He also talked about prepping dealers for early success early and voiced his concerns about some dealerships that aren’t quite up to the caliber of others. Swearingen explained:

“We want everybody in the game. We put them on notice that we want them to succeed, or we’d like them to find a buyer. We’ve been very consistent with that.”

Apparently, the automaker’s early work helped light a fire with dealers. They’re having much success selling the car, and even requesting more. Automotive News reported:

“Swearingen said he’s hearing of customer fervor around the Outlander PHEV that he hasn’t heard in years for a Mitsubishi product. Some stores, he said, are selling the vehicles before they arrive on lots.

In a call with dealers, Swearingen said many had a common question: How do I get more Outlander PHEVs?

Swearingen said the vehicle could be a halo for the brand.”

Needless to say, Mitsubishi hasn’t garnered much success in the U.S. as of late. However, last year a gradual change began. The automaker sold 103,686 vehicles, after not surpassing 100,000 since 2007. Plans for the future start with a goal of 130,000 sales per year inside of the next three years.

If the Outlander PHEV can bring newfound, positive attention to the brand, perhaps it will be able to sell other vehicles well, along with expanding its lineup. Ryan Gremore, a member of Mitsubishi’s dealer advisory board and president of an Illinois dealership, concluded:

“I believe the car is going to tell a story about what Mitsubishi is capable of.

We build a wonderful small truck that we don’t sell in the United States because of the chicken tax, the L200/Triton. We have engineering geniuses building things we need that we can’t sell here.

We need a bigger midsize CUV, bigger than Outlander that has third-row capabilities. We get that going, we may start seeing the 200,000 sales come sooner than later.”

Source: Automotive News

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64 responses to "Mitsubishi Dealerships In U.S. Asking For More Outlander PHEV SUVs"

  1. EVShopper says:

    Would love them to bring back the eclipse as an all electric affordable sports car.

    1. ray says:

      Instead of the Eclipse, it should be the Starion.

      1. JyChevyVolt says:

        I owned a Starion and Cordia. Good memories.

      2. WARREN says:

        At some angles the Roadster 2.0 looks similar to the Eclipse, lol.

    2. Nix says:

      AWD turbo Eclipse? They would need to bring it back without the “crank walk”.

  2. Dave86 says:

    Wow. Lot’s of things I liked in this article, like:

    “We want everybody in the game. We put them on notice that we want them to succeed, or we’d like them to find a buyer. We’ve been very consistent with that.”

    Did I correctly interpret that to mean “learn how to sell plug-ins or please sell your dealership”?

    … and of course I like this:

    “In a call with dealers, Swearingen said many had a common question: How do I get more Outlander PHEVs?”

    1. “or we’d like them to find a buyer. We’ve been very consistent with that.”

      Did I correctly interpret that to mean “learn how to sell plug-ins or please sell your dealership”?”

      I sure hope you understand that right! I got that same thought from that!

  3. Paul Stoller says:

    Now they just need to double the battery capacity for a decent all electric range, do that and give it any amount of towing capacity and I would bite.

    1. MikeG says:

      1500kg of towing range not enough for you?

      1. Dave86 says:

        1500kg is 3300 lbs which would work for me.

      2. Nick says:

        Sadly, it only has 1500 lbs of towing capacity. :-/

        Deal breaker for me. And I so want something that is electric and can tow for less than 50k.

        1. menorman says:

          It’s essentially the exact same vehicle as in Europe where it’s rated for 1500kg, so it probably can tow that much in America too.

          1. Nick says:

            It can’t. They released the specs for the us.

            “Outlander PHEV’s 1,500 lbs. towing capacity means you can bring a jet ski or pop-up camper on your next adventure.”

            1. Miggy says:

              It all depends if the trailer has brakes or not:
              unbraked is 750kg
              braked is 1500kg

              1. Nick says:

                That’s not what Mitsubishi says for the US model.

                1. jason says:

                  I guess US regulation doesn’t distinguish between breaked and un breaked trailers.

                  1. Nix says:

                    The big difference between the US numbers and the EU numbers is that the top towing speed in most of the EU is around 50-60 mph. While the US there are plenty of states where trailers can do 75, even 80 MPH.

                    Since the risk of trailer sway grows exponentially with increased weight and speed, the higher speeds mean lower trailer tow weight ratings.

                    That’s why you see caravans in the EU being towed around by a passenger car, that would be towed by a pickup truck in the US.

                2. All-Purpose Guru says:

                  Maybe they don’t realize that kgs aren’t just called lbs here?

                  1500lb towing capacity means you can’t tow anything but the very smallest U-Haul trailer.

                  Last trailer I towed had a 1500lb HITCH WEIGHT.

                  I seriously think that’s a typo.

  4. David says:

    There is demand for a car this big that can run on electricity only. I think of it every time I sit in line with the SUVs and minivans in front of the school my children attend. Toxic fumes aplenty invading the schoolyard.

  5. trackdaze says:

    Take home for me is Mitsubishi don’t expect to Supply its long suffering dealers with anywhere near 30.000 units for at least 3 years after a 4 year delay?

    No wonder their crying out for more. But then Mitsubishi have the gall to say lift your game dealers?!

    1. Ryan says:

      The story I heard ist hat there’s only 500 for all of Canada.

      I wanted to buy one of these, but I’ve given up. I’m not buying one without being able to see one in a show room and test drive one.

      Maybe they’ll get serious about selling them… after they go bankrupt.

      1. Jon says:

        I test drove on last week in Montreal (they were having an event to promote them). My dealer in Ottawa expects ours to be here in early Feb.

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Considering how well the Outlander PHEV is selling in other countries, this isn’t exactly a surprise.

    Sadly, popular as it is, this PHEV has an EPA rated range of only 22 miles. 🙁 Here’s hoping the Honda Clarity PHEV, with an EPA rated range of 47 miles, beats the pants off it in the market.

    1. says:

      2 very different cars for 2 very different uses. They will not have cross buying at all.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Hmmm, well I generally agree with your comments, Mark, but not in this case.

        Both cars are described by people who have actually bought them as large “family cars”, and I’m sure that at least here in the USA, there is going to be a lot of cross-shopping between the two models.

        I realize the Outlander PHEV is more utilitarian, with its flat roofline and rear hatch, but the Clarity PHEV’s 15.5-cubic-foot trunk is pretty spacious too.

        There is a great deal of overlap between how buyers intend to use the two models. That’s not just my opinion; the opinions expressed by those actually driving them show a lot of similarity in why they bought such a large vehicle and what they use them for.

        1. JyChevyVolt says:

          This one is AWD.

        2. says:

          One it’s a AWD SUV the other a sedan…what am I missing? If you shop for a SUV you will not go for a sedan even if the interior space is similar. Ask anyone with kids and car seats why.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I probably would have said the same, before I read all the comments from new Clarity PHEV owners over on the InsideEVs Forum. Perhaps my opinion has been influenced too much by the “anecdotal evidence” of posts there.


            Anyway, we will see what develops. To some extent, it depends on how many units Mitsu and Honda are willing to make for sale here, rather than what the demand is. I haven’t a clue on how many or how few units of either model will be offered for sale in the USA.

            1. says:

              If you talk strictly numbers then yes, i too believe Honda will outsell mainly because the brand reputation and the ability to scale production.

    2. Ron M says:

      Yeah 22 mpg isn’t fuel efficient. It’s a gas guzzled.

      1. iwatson says:

        I think you misunderstand. This vehicle can be plugged in and re-charged and can go 22 miles Before the gasoline engine comes on.

        1. Ron M says:

          Thanks I was mistaken

          1. says:

            Not too far off. Gas only i think it was 26mpg…but it’s a big car after all.

  7. Ron M says:

    What the heck is the chicken tax?

    1. scottf200 says:

      Chicken Tax Definition | Investopedia
      The Chicken Tax is a tariff on light trucks made outside the U.S. It is also, and more properly known as the Chicken Tariff. The tariff was imposed in 1963 by President Lyndon Johnson by executive order under authority of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

      1. Ron M says:

        12.5 million cars and trucks were built in the US last year. 46% of them by foreign companies.

        1. Tom says:

          Chicken tax is about importing trucks made elsewhere not about foreign companies building trucks here. Toyota built in Texas = no tax. Toyota built anywhere else = Tax. It’s why we don’t get things like the VW Amarok

          1. Robb Stark says:

            Under NAFTA truck manufactured in Canada or Mexico by Toyota or GM skip the Chicken Tax.

            1. John Norris says:

              So far. Isn’t the Pres renegotiating NAFTA?

  8. Get Real says:

    The market is there for PEV SUVs.

    Its such a shame that GM could not be bothered to drop in its class-leading VOLTEC system into some CUVs/SUVs.

    1. speculawyer says:

      I have literally been saying this for years. I think they are all too scared to lose their highly-profitable gas-only SUVs.

      1. But how unprofitable would a $60,000 PHEV SUV BE? (Thinking of the premium of the Volt over the similar looking Cruise, as a cost bump up ratio!)

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yeah, GM has quite intentionally put off marketing any larger car with a Voltec drivetrain. Well, let’s hope that works out better for them than Kodak putting off marketing any consumer grade digital camera… until it was too late for them.

      Anyway, now that Honda is selling the Clarity PHEV and Mitsubishi has finally, after many years of broken promises, brought the Outlander PHEV to the fair shores of the USA, GM is at long last going to put Voltec into a larger car; a Buick. Hopefully one which, like the Clarity PHEV, will seat 3 adults in back!

    3. menorman says:

      Seriously. GM is committing a colossal mistake by not having a PHEV CUV on the market or at least on the way in time to take advantage of the tax credit phaseout.

  9. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    For as long as this car has been delayed, they could’ve at least inprovesd/increased the battery pack for an EPA 35miles.

  10. Elooney Muskey says:

    There is Outlander PHEV, selling out even before it lands on dealer lots.
    Then there are these little electric sedans that are showing up on Ebay in high volumes and sitting there with 0 bids. This was supposedly the most wanted car of the century or something like that.

    1. says:

      …you can’t fix stupid.

      1. Elooney Muskey says:

        LOL. It is very stupid to not release the Model Y first.Oh whatever. You get more stocks for stupidity these days 🙂

        Check this one. Selling for a loss. GO get it.

        “2018 Tesla Model 3 Premium
        2018 MODEL, VIN # 31XX”

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


          It must make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing there is one Model 3 buyer out there who is, like you, dumb as a bag of hammers.

          1. Elooney Muskey says:

            Pushy Pulley,
            Cheer up bud! Why so venomous? LOL. Go take a sneak peek or test drive the sedan instead of defiling this forum for like ages ) Go Tesla! Go Pushy!

        2. says:

          You are trying too hard and make the other trolls on here look bad, please have some respect for them.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


            Mark is on a roll today! 😀

      2. Rightofthepeople says:

        Thanks Mark. That literally made me laugh out loud!

        1. Bunny says:


    2. JyChevyVolt says:

      Demand for $35,000 model 3 is high. Most people were thinking $35,000 minus $7500-$12,500 rebate.

      As soon as Elon unveiled the model 3, I said there is no way that’s a $35,000 car. People don’t realize how much manpower it takes to manufacturer those sexy shaped vehicles.

      1. menorman says:

        But Elon is going for machine power?

  11. Get Real says:

    There is this jealous little troll appropriately named Elooney who can’t do math.

  12. wavelet says:

    I’m curious whether they’ve managed to significantly boost production (assuming that was the reason for all the delays getting it to the US — they could sell all they make in the existing markets). The next Mitsu PHEV is supposed to show up in 2020 (maybe the GT-PHEV concept, maybe a PHEV version of the Eclipse Cross). Hopefully, Renault/Nissan can invest a nice chunk of cash to help them out.

  13. Don Zenga says:

    Expected. Crossovers are really hot and especially a model like Outlander-Plugin which has 2 motors powering 2 axles should be a very preferred choice. I don’t know whether Mitsu will increase the supplies.

    Meanwhile Kia Niro-Plugin has gone on sale and we can see many in It is like a crossover with the roofline extending to rear, but no AWD. Had Kia offered an AWD version, this could have been categorized as a plugin.

    Still Hyundai Ioniq-Plugin is not on sale, but may come soon.

  14. Don Zenga says:

    Prismatic battery which is supposed to offer more energy for a given volume is seeing an increase in production led mainly by Chinese companies with Koreans in lead. Japanese are sleeping and their people are showing blind nationalism in buying just the japanese products as per this article.

  15. cab says:

    Amazingly, I saw a commercial for this on TV last night… A commercial!! Actual advertising for a plug-in!!

  16. Jessica L Feinleib says:

    We gave up waiting and bought a Pacifica “Hybrid” Mini Van PHEV.

  17. DBJP says:

    Got one of these last week, love it.

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