Mitsubishi Says Electric Cars Are Key To Its Profits, Success

MAR 19 2015 BY MARK KANE 19

Mitsubishi Concept XR PHEV II

Mitsubishi Concept XR PHEV II

Mitsubishi Motors, after several weak years, has returned back to profitability. Plug-in electric cars are one of pillars of success together with trucks and crossovers, according to Mitsubishi President Tetsuro Aikawa. In Europe alone, most of the sales growth comes from the Outlander PHEV.

Major actions taken by Mitsubishi in recent years were:

  • minimized the development of sedans and focusing on SUVs and pickup trucks (don’t expect new generation Evo)
  • selling a European plant
  • closing an Australian plan
  • weaker yen support short term profitability of Japanese production
  • introducing Outlander PHEV

2015 is expected to bring record sales for Mitsubishi in Europe. Mitsubishi expects to reach profitability in North America in the fiscal year ending March 31.

What’s next for plug-in hybrids from Mitsubishi?

  • updated Outlander PHEV will be launched in 2016 fiscal year, starting April 1
  • In US, sales of this new Outlander PHEV will begin about a year from now, so early 2016
  • In 2017, we should see a plug-in version of new ASX (also known as Outlander Sport or RVR)

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Mitsubishi


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19 Comments on "Mitsubishi Says Electric Cars Are Key To Its Profits, Success"

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Call me a conspiracy theorist but I wonder if there was an unspoken agreement among the big carmakers not build plug-in SUVs or pick-ups. Those are very popular vehicles and very PROFITABLE vehicles as long as they are gas-only. PHEVs tend to have thin-margins.

And it took a bit of an outsider in the automotive community, Mitsubishi, to go ahead and build an SUV PHEV. And it has been a great success for them. Others will follow suit now that the barrier has been broken.

Mitsubishi is in on the agreement, for the US at least. They have vehicle that is selling very where everywhere they choose to offer it, but have so far avoided selling it in the SUV crazy US.
With the Mitsu pending release of march 2016, I expect the other domestic makers to finally show an SUV with a plug at 2016 NAIAS.

Nah, I think they just allocated the limited number of Outlander PHEVs to Europe where they have a better dealership network, some incentives were expiring, and they get better profit margins.

Mitsubishi would have to re-engineer the Outlander PHEV to conform to California’s overly restrictive CARB regulations, for no sensible reason. It’s no wonder they have chosen to sell it only where they don’t need to go thru a pointless redevelopment just to satisfy red tape.

As far as the profit margin goes… Well, finances aren’t my area of expertise. The currently strong U.S. Dollar makes imports cheaper… does that reduce or increase Mitsubishi’s profit margin?

I suspect you are referring to the BMW i3 gasoline burning “REx” mantra… the big bad government forced poor little BMW to build a CARB – REx car for ZEV credits? Pure bullshit. BMW asked for and currently receives Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) credit (worth millions of dollars) to offer a gasoline burning car (that clearly isn’t “zero emission”). BMW is he only company in the entire world that gets ZEV credit for their gasoline burning car. Every other auto manufacturer n the world that sells cars in California (and is subject to CARB minimum sales thresholds) builds or will build either a battery electric or hydrogen car to get those credits. None of those cars, except the BMW i3 with its 650cc gasoline burning engine, have any fossil fuels on board; either hydrogen or stored electricity in a battery only. This little charade, that seems popular amongst BMW forums, probably won’t go away soon. I certainly wish the credit had never been offered in the first place. MITSUBISHI IS NOT SUCH TO THE SAME ZEV RULES AS BMW: Starting in 2012, the six “Large Vehicle Manufacturers” (LVM) were required to sell a minimum number of California Air Resources Board… Read more »

It’s worth noting that none of the manufacturers that are exempt from pure ZEV are considering a hydrogen car, however I predict they will ALL offer a pure electric car to meet their regulatory compliance:

1) Tesla – never a “fool cell” here… 100% electric

2)Mitsubishi – already has iMiev 100% electric

3) Fuji Heavy Industry (Subaru) – no hydrogen planned

4) Jaguar Land Rover – coming out with 100% electric

5) Volvo – seem to be only interested in PHEV… no hydrogen planned

I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, but simple stupidity among the car company execs. Honda cancels the Fit EV and goes all-in on hydrogen? Toyota kills the RAV4 EV and also bets on hydrogen? Mitsu can’t get out of its own way with the i? Fiat is an embarrassment with their “please don’t buy our EV” idiocy?

Again, this will all change dramatically in the next few years. We’ll see a couple more companies take the plunge, batteries will get cheaper, the public will finally lose their misconceptions about EVs, and we’ll hit one heck of a tipping point.

Of course some of us (like me) won’t forgive Honda and Toyota for their hydrogen insanity quite that quickly. But I’ll be so happy with my Leaf 2.0 or whatever that it won’t matter.

Toyota and Honda both picking up CA credits with a dead in product, that’s not a conspiracy?

I don’t think I’ll ever forgive Toyota or Honda for their anti-EV attitude even if they come out with a compelling product.

I guess it’s going to be Nissan or, hopefully, Tesla for me from now on.

No agreement, spoken or otherwise, is needed. Every legacy auto maker has done the same cost/benefit analysis for themselves.

This was, and is, entirely predictable. Every market leader does the same thing in -every- disruptive tech revolution. It’s why Kodak didn’t pursue the digital camera tech it invented, and lagged behind in that revolution, eventually going bankrupt. Have you heard of the Stanley Steamer? Guess why the Stanley Motor Carriage Company didn’t survive the previous motorcar revolution!

“The competition out there is a joke. Tesla’s cars DO NOT compete against other electric cars. First off, the electric cars out there are not remotely in the class of Tesla’s vehicles. Second, Model S (and the coming MX, M3) are aimed at the best-in-segment ICE cars and there is absolutely NO indication any ICE carmaker intends to cannibalize their highest margin, most successful ICE product by offering similarly competitive high-end, high performance BEVs.” –Randy Carlson

This is the LOSER rule.
If you don’t make the disruptive product, someone else will.
Ask Dell, Nokia, Motorola…

I really hope the legacy manufacturers get it before it’s too late. They *must* cannibalise their own products.

We need as much competition as possible.

Ever heard of thermoacoustics cooling, well that is yet another disruptive technology the legacy heat pump manufacturers don’t want to hear off. No compressor, no nasty ozone depleting cooling gas, almost nothing to maintain or replace. That is the nightmare tech for their revenue stream they don’t want to see coming.

No conspiracy theory needed… All the carmakers are still dipping their toes in EVs. None of them are willing to bet the farm at this stage, when new EV penetration is still <0.5% globally (and a lot less in the existing on-road base), by closing all their ICE factories and opening gigafactories. That's understandable. Ergo, battery production capacity is severely constrained. 1000 kWh of cells will support ~40 compact BEV cars with ~80mi range, or alternatively (guessing) ~20 SUVs with a similar range (bigger car is inherently heavier, the huge battery is heavy, and aerodynamics on SUVs suck). The SUVs are also much more expensive, both as an inherent car category, and a lot more battery. Which makes the more sense for a manufacturer to build and try and sell, in these early days? EVs aren't yet mainstream, so you're selling to early adopters no matter what; there are enough of them and few enough cars you can build in whatever config (due to battery production constraints) so that the vendor can sell to just those willing to settle for a compact (recall, most EV buyers, at least in the US, have an ICE as well… It might as well… Read more »

That is the perfect receipt to be late in game and perhaps like Kodak to be too late in the game and fall off the boat because even with good products people will see you as a late comer and will conclude that you belong in the past and they will prefer the brands that did the move early or that are totally new.
For memory, Kodak, late in the game, came out with quiet good digital cameras but Samsung and others were not loaded with that trailer image that Kodak had. As a consequence people moved to other brands than Kodak.
The same will likely happen with cars. If GM, Ford, Tesla and New Brand X, come on the market in 2020 with a same EV with 400 miles range and Hypercharge capability most people will likely choose Tesla or New Brand X over GM or Ford.

Well, I think Renault and Nissan both have.

It will be interesting to see how well they sell in the US.

No tweets, just profits.

So mits is making the most of producing a great product. meanwhile…

Oil will continue to cost more. the 2015 glut will be short lived.

EVs are the future of transportation. Paired with solar planels for homes, it will be the model transportation.

hydrogen for the foreseable future is a waste of money.

I will fix and drive my $1,000, 15mpg guzzler until gas costs more. I will then (like a LOT of americans) buy a vehicle 2x more efficient. The $40k is in the bank.