Outlander PHEV May Be Final Opportunity For Mitsubishi In U.S.

1 month ago by Steven Loveday 28

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs (US spec)

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (U.S. spec)

It’s high time for Mitsubishi to re-establish itself in the U.S., and the 2018 Outlander PHEV might be the missing ingredient for newfound success.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is not a new vehicle. In fact, it has been selling in Japan and Europe for years. The automaker has also been promising its launch on our shores for some time (since the 2013 edition to be precise). This time, it seems that it’s a promise Mitsubishi intends to keep, and the company is working to get everything in place to guarantee its success.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

A look inside the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Outlander PHEV shouldn’t be a hard sell for Mitsubishi. It will be the first mainstream plug-in hybrid midsize SUV in the U.S. According to Automotive News, it will outperform all current luxury SUVs in terms of electric-only range and MPGe. It also comes with DC fast charging and is priced to sell. The Outlander will be available in all 5o states, however, it will be produced in relatively limited volumes for the US in 2018.

Assuring that the U.S. launch goes off without a hitch, Mitsubishi is marketing the vehicle early and getting dealers prepared. Thus far, 85 percent of its 360 dealers nationwide have signed up to sell the PHEV, which means site preparation and training. Locations will need chargers installed, and salespeople will need to be educated to provide accurate information and a positive customer experience. Swearingen explained:

“The PHEV buyer is a buyer who takes a lot more time researching cars on the Internet. We think it’s very important that when someone walks into a dealership, there’s someone who can intelligently talk about the vehicle.”

This type of prep would (should) be necessary for any dealership that is moving to sell electrified models. But, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Don Swearingen told Automotive News that some of his locations may not be on the top of their game. While some dealers sell 100 to 200 vehicles a month, the average is only 22. This is still up from about 10 six years back. The automaker is aiming to get that average up in the mid-30’s. Swearingen shared:

“We have some dealers that are doing fabulous, and we have some dealers that are a little disengaged. Our key is to get them re-engaged with the brand. We have dealers selling 100 to 200 vehicles a month, and of course, we’d like all of them to do that.”

Mitsubishi plans to bring more electrified models in the future, so this venture must go smoothly to pave the path. Additionally, many rivals’ models will come to market in the coming years. Mitsubishi needs to take advantage of being first and must do it successfully. Swearingen continued:

“The Outlander [PHEV] is unique, but we won’t have that for many years. Some of our competitors will be out in the next few years with something similar, and we want to make sure we make a mark.”

The $35,535 starting price (before the federal rebate), which includes destination, is definitely a first step in the right direction. Also, the fact that Mitsubishi is now in an alliance with Nissan should help boost consumer confidence in the ailing brand. Mitsubishi is eager to bring PHEV buyers to the brand and potentially retain them. Swearingen concluded:

“We want to make sure we make a mark. I look at this as a new halo car for Mitsubishi.”

Source: Automotive News

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28 responses to "Outlander PHEV May Be Final Opportunity For Mitsubishi In U.S."

  1. Carsten says:

    Mitsu will hopefully install DC-Fast chargers at my local dealership. It would certainly help with my commute in a 2012 MiEV with a failing battery @ 75,000mi and Mitsu-warranty only replacing it, when it completely fails.
    They have hopefully improved on the battery system quality and changed their warranty terms for it.

    1. Ambulator says:

      It’s gone 75,000 miles? Sounds like it has done its job and should be retired to a farm upstate, where it can run free.

      1. Carsten says:

        I wish. The warranty here is normally 8 years or 100,000mi, whichever comes first. Mitsu extended the warranty to 10 years or 100,000mi, whichever comes first. The 8 or 10 years are not the issue. It’s the 100,000 mi, that is the issue. The range went down from GOM 80-85mi last year around this time to 50-55mi GOM this year. Mitsu only warrants total failure and not “rendered unusable, which for me would be around 40mi in winter in MD. Todays battery warranties include a 305 or 40% degradation clause, which Mitsu will hopefully have for the Outlander PHEV.

        1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

          Give these folks a call. They might be able to do something for you…
          http://www.batterymd.com/electricservices.html

          1. Carsten says:

            Thanks for the link.
            I just sent them an inquiry.
            I love this little KISS-car. Maybe they could even get me a pack with higher capacity. Wish me luck.

      2. Carsten says:

        If I don’t get a new battery under warranty, I’ll see, if I can swap the failed cells myself or use the pack (albeit modified) with a PIKA-backup system at home or as a 48V-system in my RV. The shell I will just offer in the MiEV-forum. I don’t think the car to be worth anything, even with a new battery – really a pity, since I am quite fond of a “KISS”-car.

        1. Tom says:

          Call me crazy but I think there’s room in the market for a new version of this. Always thought it looked cool. If they put a newer/bigger battery in it and could get it on the market for low 20s (mid teens after govt credit) and 150 miles I’d buy it. No frills. None of that goofy autopilot nonsense. Just a car. I know I know…get a used leaf. Not enough range.

          1. Confused says:

            I own a Leaf and want that. I need an adventure car that will carry a kayak 100 miles with no plugs in site. Leaf will not do that.

      3. William says:

        Hopefully PETA can find some free range, fair trade, grass fed grazing at a family farm for the EV jelly bean.

  2. ziv says:

    So we finally get a PHEV/BEV in a CUV format and it is built by Mitsubishi. Kind of like telling your parents that all you want for Christmas is a Daisy BB gun and they give you a Wrist Rocket, instead. Not that there is anything wrong with either Mitsu or Wrist Rocket, but they ain’t exactly the pick of the litter.

    1. William says:

      You might have forgot to mention that the wrist rocket was gifted only after four Christmas had come and gone, and it ended up as a birthday present. Still a good gift, as only half the teenage years were spent patiently waiting.

      1. ziv says:

        That kid you speak of had it worse than me, it seems. 😉
        I actually progressed from BB gun to 22 in about a year, my Grampa paid us 5 cents for each gopher tail we brought him. Good fun. Still had a ton of fun with the old wrist rocket when were closer to town, though.

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      I have no idea what a Daisy BB gun or a wrist rocket is…

      Is that like asking for a Sony Playstation for christmas and getting a Sega 32x instead? 😛

      1. ziv says:

        Is that a form of English I don’t know, Wade? Some of it looks kind of foreign to this 60’s kid. LOL!

      2. fotomoto says:

        What’s a playstation? Never heard of that app.

  3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    This will be on my radar. The only thing holding me back is what CARB will do regarding the SMOG testing after an X amount of years for a PHEV. If they change it from 5 to 3 years, then forget it.

  4. DJ says:

    At this point though it’s a friggin Mitsubishi.

    I almost never see any of them on the road and when something goes wrong it’s a PITA to take it to the dealer for service. That is, if there even are any still left…

    They really should have brought it to the US back when they were better off. I think it could have helped save them. These days though I’m not so sure and frankly I’m not sure I’d want to spend $ on a car make that may not be around in the future.

    Not to mention no improvements on the battery in how many years has it been made??

    1. Mark.ca says:

      “Not to mention no improvements on the battery in how many years has it been made??”
      That’s my issue with it too. What a missed opportunity here for them. I bet it will sell a few anyway…

      1. Confused says:

        They could update it with the Leaf pack. Hopefully active cooling too.

  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    “The PHEV buyer is a buyer who takes a lot more time researching cars on the Internet. We think it’s very important that when someone walks into a dealership, there’s someone who can intelligently talk about the vehicle.”

    Or, since the person will have researched the vehicle, just make sure that the vehicles are fully charged, so that you can give the (potential) customer the key fob and let them give it a good test drive.

  6. Roberts says:

    Nice- But I would definitely like to see an Outlander Sport plug-in instead. The phev is too gigantic for our three person family.

    1. Spoonman. says:

      And since it’s missing the third row, it’s hard to see how it would be better than our C-Max as a PHEV for our five-person family. What are you doing, Mitsubishi?

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        You mean the AWD and a DCFC isn’t enough to put it over the C-Max?.

        Tough crowd man…..

      2. Poughkeepsie Mike says:

        The trunk space is pretty massive, especially compared to the CMAX.

  7. Don Zenga says:

    Yes Outlander-PHEV is best designed Mitsubishi vehicle and I hope with $ 35K price tag it should sell well.

    As a sidenote:
    The # of gas stations selling E15 Ethanol has crossed 1,000 mark. So if you have a plugin or a hybrid or any gas-mobile, check whether any gas station in your area sells E15. If so, try it and this is just a way to buy a cleaner fuel which is also produced locally. Any vehicle which is MY-2001 or later is certified by EPA to use E15 and will run fine.

    The regular gas contains only 10% Ethanol.

    1. Nix says:

      For the more risk-adverse ICE owners, 2015 was the year that the majority of cars sold in the US were certified with E15 by their manufactures. That is to say that the car makers tested their own cars and certified with E15. It will say right on the gas cap if it can take E15.

      So the most conservative approach would be to check the gas cap on any roughly 2014 or 2015 or newer car, and follow what the gas cap says.

      With that said, most car makers made zero changes (besides updating the gas cap to say E15 compatible) to their cars when they certified them with E15. So earlier years certainly should work fine, despite the car makers not going back and certifying those older cars retroactively. Less risk adverse car owners certainly can go back as far as 2001.

  8. william edwards says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the design, now many years old, is just too tired?

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