Mitsubishi dealers are hoping for even more new product as they await electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that are still a few years away from launch.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. ended production of its Endeavor SUV, Eclipse coupe and Spyder convertible last year and plans to phase out production of the Galant mid-sized sedan this year.
The vehicles were built at Mitsubishi's lone U.S. assembly plant in Normal, Ill. That leaves the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers and Lancer compact sedan to carry the load for the brand once supplies of the U.S.-built vehicles are exhausted.
Scott Grove, chairman of Mitsubishi's dealer council with two Mitsubishi dealerships near Chicago, says dealers are concerned that Mitsubishi does not seem to be replacing the loss of the U.S.-built vehicles with new products "pound-for-pound."
For the 2012 model year, Mitsubishi added a Lancer SE with all-wheel drive at a lower price than was previously available. The subcompact Mirage is expected to go on sale in the United States, too.
But beyond that, it's unclear what other internal combustion vehicles Mitsubishi has in its U.S.-bound product plan.
Mitsubishi's product strategy is in flux as it shifts its focus to electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers began selling small numbers of the i electric city car this month. Plug-in hybrid versions of the Outlander Sport and Outlander crossovers are expected to arrive stateside by 2014.
But it's what happens in the meantime that concerns some Mitsubishi dealers, Grove said.
"No one thinks we're going in the wrong direction," Grove said. "But there are many that say there's a long road until we get there, and the EV investments are paid back and the products are flowing and the country is buying them."