U.S. Launch Of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Delayed Again

DEC 29 2015 BY MARK KANE 56

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs not going to the U.S.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The launch of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the U.S. is delayed… again!

Its release is now moved back at least another couple months to late summer to coincide with the 2017 model rather than having an abbreviated 2016 run, according to Green Car Reports’ interview with Alex Fedorak of Mitsubishi public relations.

It’s almost incomprehensible that Mitsubishi has delayed the plug-in hybrid SUV so many times for the U.S. market, which for a few years now has been awaiting the arrival of this worldwide top-selling plug-in hybrid SUV.

Sales in Japan launched in 2013 (three years ago), and in Europe in late 2013 (two years ago). The difference between the launch in Japan and the U.S. now will extend to at least 3.5 years.

Source: Green Car Reports

Categories: Mitsubishi

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56 Comments on "U.S. Launch Of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Delayed Again"

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STahp doing this, Mitsubishi!

“It’s almost incomprehensible that Mitsubishi has delayed the plug-in hybrid SUV so many times for the U.S. market”

Not really. This SUV has been doing very well outside of the US and it’s almost a fact that as soon as we get it, we are going to complain so much and criticize it for one little piece of hard plastic or some other stupidity that “automotive journalists” love to complain about that us in the US will likely damage the sale of this vehicle across the rest of the world. Today on autoblog I read that the regular version is one of the worst cars they drove this year…

Some auto reviewer will drive it at 80 through some twisty mountain roads, then say it oversteers and give a 1/10 rating.

Exactly. Auto reviewers for some odd reason don’t understand this is an SUV that is used to take people to the mall/school and back at close to the legal speed limit… Like you said, some idiot will take it to an autocross track and give it an awful rating.

Exactly. It’s supply constrained. They are a market leader in Europe and making hay while the sun shines rather than expending unnecessary funds launching only a limited number in the US. This is also why the i-Miev is so rare not only here but all over. They lose money on that little critter and every one of those they make is one battery pack they can’t use in an Outlander PHEV. They’ve said this numerous times in public and yet everyone seems to shocked. They are simply letting a good thing roll in Europe and capturing market share/brand recognition there.

Thanks for posting the actual facts behind Mitsubishi’s decision.

Too bad that so many seem to be ignoring your post.

“They lose money on that little critter and every one of those they make is one battery pack they can’t use in an Outlander PHEV. They’ve said this numerous times in public and yet everyone seems to shocked. They are simply letting a good thing roll in Europe and capturing market share/brand recognition there.”

So, why don’t they build more battery then? It has been over 3.5 years now.

Doesn’t Mitsubishi need a boost in the US market as far as brands go? So, is Mitsubishi giving up the US market?


That explains why my head hurts….

Slowly i think other automakers give Mitsubishi much money not to launch such a vehicle for the US market :-D.

It would not surprise me.

Ford just flat out canceled their PHEV SUV (Escape).

5kw PV

Very well protected market, one need to sell large number of cars to cover the high lawsuit risks that comes together with selling cars in NA.

Wanted to buy this car last year, I was very dissapointed with the interior so I didn’t bother to take it for a test drive. No 7-seat PHEV version didn’t help either. However people used to driving a Leaf will love it. To me, it seems I’ll just have to wait for Model Y or perhaps VW Crossblue PHEV. I know I am postponing my first EV purchase, but I have to do it right as I want to keep the car for a long time. There are by the way no EV incentives where I live…

I wouldn’t hold my breath on the CrossBlue. There has been nothing in the way of news, either official or rumor, in over a year now. I’m calling this one vaporware.

What about the BMW X5 edrive PHEV? Expensive but cool!

The BMW has even fewer electric miles than the Outlander. And the Outlander is hard enough to defend with the relatively short range it has.

Despite the fact that a new X5 is out of my price range, I still had it borrowed for a week (a diesel version). I didn’t really like how the car behaved at high speeds (160 km/h+). But the interior sure was beautiful. Anyway, I can’t afford more than 45k Euros, even that’s a bit of a stretch so XC-90 or X are not for me unfortunatelly 🙁

Very predictable. Mitsu automotive has given up on USA and visa versa.

Yes, something tells me that in a few months there will be an announcement that Mitsu is pulling a Suzuki and leaving NA. Sadly this means that there will be absolutely no “reasonably priced” SUV PEVs until at least the Tesla Model Y and that won’t be for at least another 5 years (probably more like 10)!

Lets hope the refreshed version is not already dated when it finally arrives at the end of 2016 (December is my bet).
The only way this would sell well is if fuel prices go up a good bit between now and then.

The Outlander PHEV should be downgraded to vaporware for the NA market. It’s like an EEstor EESU. Always just another year in the future.


But they were going to sell it here until CA changes some laws related to battery stats (right?) … how many years ago was that? That started the delay AFAIK.

Personally I think that was just a lame excuse. I don’t have the link handy but I recall an article a couple years ago where ARB said that the “issue” in question was not technically challenging enough to warrant a delay of a year or two. Then Mitsu started saying battery supply shortages (and, to their credit, there was some truth to that).

To me, I think what has given me pause is the plethora of PHEV announcements they’ve been making lately. Promises of bringing back the Montero as a PHEV, electrifying the Outlander Sport, etc. It seems to me that when companies are nearing the end, they make a series of announcements to drum up excitement, bring people in to dealerships to drum up business and hope that will resuscitate their business. I don’t think that approach has ever been very successful.

Bye bye Mitsu, it was nice knowing you.

But this vehicle is selling easily in all their other countries/locations. No reason for them to hurry back to the USA after CA caused the initial delay.

Maybe, but I’m hesitant to pin it all on California. Something about corporate culture tells me that, without the Cal requirement, Mitsu would have just come up with some other lame excuse to not bring it into the US. Corporate culture is all about the blame game “it’s not my fault, it’s someone else’s fault!”

Can I say “told you so!?”


I guess it turns out that May 2016 date really was insulting! 🙂

The fact that they are saying “late summer” means they probably don’t have a *bleep*ing clue when the thing will come out. And can I just say that, unless its due to a planned production start, there is nothing stopping them from releasing in May as a 2017 since the 2017 MY starts in Jan. 2, 2016?!

PS – Yes, I am just a little bit cynical and pessimistic.

I think in a few days this will become more comprehensable. There is an year end run because of tax reasons in some European countries, especially Holland. That sucks in all production that would otherwise have been set apart for the US. End since profit per car is higher when selling in Europe…

Paul said:
“End since profit per car is higher when selling in Europe…”

So, since profit per car is higher in Europe, does that mean there would be absolutely nothing stopping Mitsu from dumping North America and selling only to Japan, Europe and Australia?

That’s pretty much what they have done with the phev when they can supply those high profit markets they’ll expand. Btw I think a token amount of outlander phev’s were sent to Aus to stop the grey imports, if Mitsubishi is importing them then no one else is allowed to. I haven’t seen any phev’s on Mitsubishi lots recently.


But don’t worry, everyone… there will be plenty of i-MiEVs available on the Mitsubishi lots!

I almost have to chuckle. It was the vaporware aspect of this vehicle that got me to buy my SECOND Volt nearly FOUR YEARS AGO. I really liked what I was reading about this vehicle and, at the time, I had two hybrid SUVs and a Volt in the driveway. But then I started reading commentary about Mitsubishi and decided there was little point in waiting for a PHEV SUV when I could simply keep ONE of my hybrid SUVs and have TWO Volts as daily drivers. Most commentary FOUR YEARS AGO was that Mitsubishi was highly suspect in delivering what seemed to be a very promising vehicle (on paper, anyway). Then we had production delays after some of the first Outlanders had battery issues. When I read ‘delayed in the US…again’…it validates that second Volt purchase FOUR YEARS AGO. And of course, now that we gifted that first Volt to our son, I expect to get a SECOND generation Volt as REPLACEMENT well BEFORE this vaporware FINALLY shows up. Pathetic.

Eh. You are aware that Europe and Japan are real places right?

Mitsubishi will make less money for cars sold in US.

The tax levels and legislation in US is probably a threshold too. EU is essentially one market, and seems to be less complicated and protectionistic than US, but with higher tax on fuel and subsidies to favour alternative fuels.

All of this lowers the margin in US.

Other carmakers will have competative alternatives soon, so why make less money right now for a marginal market share?

Are they waiting until every single dealership closes before they try to reboot the brand with new offerings?

Any bets they’re having the Volt problem and doing extra work to qualify for CA HOV lane sticker?

Except that the Cal HOV stickers have hit the limit again. Since the green stickers are now at the level that the yellow hybrid stickers were at when they were being offered by Cal, I’m not expecting any new increases in the cap.

Hmmm … my plan B to getting ’16 Leaf was to get Mitsu in May. Now I’ve to think of a plan C.

I recall reading on insideevs.com that Hyundai was going to release a PHEY Tuscon in 2016. It would be built on the same platform as the FCEV.

That could be your plan C.

Link please. I can’t find the article you’re referring to and I don’t recall reading anything about a Hyundai Tucson PHEV.

Here is the link…reading it in further detail Hyundai mentioned a PHEV Tuscon and that was 10 months ago.


It would be easy for them to launch the Tuscon PHEV.

Yes, I saw something about that earlier on hybridcars.com when I was digging around after I saw your post. This is very much a Euro Spec and unlikely to ever make it to the US. Additionally, the lack of any other news/rumors surrounding a Tucson PHEV tells me that it will be awhile, if ever, before these things hit dealer floors.

Relevant quote from the link:
“If it does, we don’t expect it to be sold in the U.S. unless there’s a gasoline/electric version introduced.”

We are getting close to 2016 sales prediction season. I may have to repeat my prediction of 0 for the second year in a row.

So Mitsubishi can’t build enough ev’s and can’t sell enough ice’s, I know I’m a genius and all that but is the solution here not somewhat obvious?

Not exactly, there are plenty of unsold i-mievs around.

Building batteries might have different constraints than building a ICE.

with effect 1 March 2016 the UK plug-in electric car grant changes. The Outlander PHEV will move into a Category 2 classification. This will reduce the current 5000 UK Pound grant to 2500 UK Pounds.

Given this was a recent confirmation by the UK government I’m not surprised that Mitsu is moving production to the UK for Jan/Feb sales rather than building inventory in the US in the lead up to a US launch.

Furthermore, one might expect the 2017 Outlander to have a larger capacity battery that takes full advantage of the maximum US tax credit.

Well it makes sense to me

I don’t think moving the alleged US Outlander PHEV to a MY 2017 for an unlikely increase in battery capacity for the full US tax credit is their motivation. Here is why: the EV tax credit in the US is set to expire at the end of 2016 and given the current nature of Congress, it’s safe to say it will not be extended, re-authorized, or allowed to continue to exist in any shape or form.

No, the fed tax credit doesn’t expire in 2016.

Huh, I must have got it conflated with the Solar credits (which were recently extended to 2021). For some reason, I thought it was both a phaseout AND a hard deadline, whereby they expired at the end of 2016 regardless of whether or not OEMs reached their 200,000 vehicle threshold. This is definitely one thing I’m glad to be wrong about!

If anything, that’s a sign sales in Japan and Europe are better than expected. With production constrained likely due to limited electrical components supply, there is no point in moving to expensive, lower margin markets. They are still expecting EU sales to saturate but apparently it takes longer than planned.

I’m not surprised at all by this announcement. There is a reason they are a small car company… And it’s not due to bad luck.

If Hyundai comes out with their phev at the same time as the outlander, I’m buying the Hyundai… I sent trust a company that can’t deliver.

Kind of funny to read the comments. I can’t blame Mitsu going for the EU markets especially Holland UK and Norway. Look at the number of cars sold to these markets. Due to Tax regulations in these countries. Only for the dutch market the Outlander takes 10% of the leasemarket. They should be stupid to ship these cars to the US not knowing if they would sell, when they have a guarantee selling in Holland. Nevertheless it’s a great car, nice handling and the 50km range is enough for the daily trips. I love the car and hopefully for the US it will be shipped some where this year to you too.which most likely will happen since the tax deductions is not so attractive anymore…

It is quite humorous reading some of the comments from our USA friends. Meanwhile, in Australia, sales of Outlander PHEV have slowed to a trickle (around 30 per month). Yet there is now an 18-month waiting list in Australia for the USA built Ford Mustang V8 after the initial 2016 allotment of 4000 right hand drive Mustangs were sold out. With oil prices are at a decade low, could it be that Mitsubishi have read the potential demand of the USA market correctly? Why go to the hassle of a USA release when it is doing so nicely in Europe and Japan? (BTW, I love my Outlander PHEV.)