In 2011, Mitsubishi announced Jump 2013, a three-year business plan that focused its attention to building SUVs, pick-up trucks and minicars for emerging and fast-growing markets in Asia, markets that have yet to mature, like Thailand and Indonesia. To put this in perspective: in its last fiscal year, Mitsubishi sold 357.000 vehicles in Southeast and Northern Asia, about 36% of its worldwide sales.
However, in the US market, Mitsubishi is like the kid that never seems to be getting it right.
* In 2002, Mitsubishi’s US sales peaked at 345.111 vehicles, with a market share of 2%, almost twice as many as Subaru, ahead of Volkswagen and Kia, and within 30.000 units of Hyundai.
* Ten years later, Mitsubishi sales in the United States had dropped 83% on 2002 to just 57.790 vehicles, with a market share of less than 0,4%, a drop in the ocean compared to 703.007 Hyundai, 557.599 Kia, 438.133 Volkswagen and 336.441 Subaru sales. In the first ten months of 2013, sales are off another 1,5% in a market up 8%. Mitsubishi transaction prices are among the lowest of all brands, and its brand value has virtually evaporated, resulting in North American operating losses every year since 2007.
Since Suzuki dropped out of the US market last year, Mitsubishi is the smallest Japanese automaker in the continent, and it has promised its dealers and their last few customers that it is here to stay. But no new models were planned for a couple of years, despite already having an aging line-up. But that’s changed, but not for the better: the latest product plans are the final nail in the coffin. It’s over. There’s No More Hope. [Read more…]