Mitsubishi sets lofty sales goal for redone Outlander
Photo credit: HANS GREIMEL
TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. wants the redesigned Outlander mid-sized crossover to be the brand's top-selling nameplate.
When the next-generation Outlander, which will offer big fuel-economy gains over the outgoing version, arrives next year in North America, Mitsubishi aims to sell 33,000 units a year.
That would be quite a jump; Mitsubishi sold just 5,909 Outlanders in the first nine months of this year.
The forecast is ambitious, and doesn't include a plug-in hybrid variant that eventually will reach the United States.
In Canada and the United States combined, Mitsubishi sold 99,531 vehicles in 2011.
In 2011, the brand's top seller was the Mitsubishi Lancer, with 19,874 units out of total Mitsubishi U.S. sales of 79,020.
Through September, Mitsubishi's top nameplate has been the Outlander Sport small crossover, with sales of 13,126 in the United States.
Mitsubishi says the new Outlander, with its rounder, more streamlined styling, will get a sales boost from better fuel-economy numbers.
In Japan, where the vehicle went on sale Oct. 25, the Outlander will deliver up to 22 percent better fuel economy than its predecessor.
Under Japan's testing cycle, the new four-wheel-drive version gets 34 mpg, compared with 28 mpg for the prior model. The numbers are not comparable to U.S. test results, and the vehicle has not yet received an EPA rating.
Mitsubishi eked out the gains partly by trimming 220 pounds from the vehicle and improving aerodynamics.
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