TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motor Corp.’s two crossovers, the Outlander and Outlander Sport, are about to get a middle sibling.
Seeking to capitalize on a global boom in crossover sales, Mitsubishi plans to slot a new compact crossover into its lineup between the Outlander and Outlander Sport, the Japanese automaker said this week.
For a glimpse of its design, Mitsubishi unveiled an all-electric concept called the eX at the Tokyo Motor Show, featuring a new iteration of the “dynamic shield” styling penned by ex-Nissan designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto, and cutting-edge technology.
Powered by a dual-motor electric all-wheel drive system, the eX underscores Mitsubishi’s strategy of focusing on SUVs and electrification.
“We are building the strength of Mitsubishi on a global scale, focusing on SUVs and electric power vehicles on which we excel,” Mitsubishi President Tetsuro Aikawa said during a press conference Wednesday.
Mitsubishi first disclosed plans for its new crossover a day before the unveiling of the eX, during an earnings report Oct. 27.
Mitsubishi reported a 14 percent drop in net income to 28.1 billion yen ($234.6 million) for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, though revenue rose 9.2 percent to $4.75 billion. With the global market for crossovers expected to grow 20 percent by 2020, the company will add a new compact crossover -- and offer a plug-in hybrid or all-electric powertrain for every one of its crossovers, Mitsubishi said.
Crossovers, which account for more than half of Mitsubishi’s U.S. sales, have been key to the brand’s modest revival. Mitsubishi sold 73,257 vehicles in the U.S. through September, up 25.5 percent, with Outlander sales up 34 percent.
Because the new compact crossover would be positioned between the Outlander and Outlander Sport, these models may grow and shrink with their next redesign to make room for a new entry. Mitsubishi launched a heavily re-engineered version of the midsize Outlander this summer, and plans to unveil the next-generation Outlander Sport next month at the Los Angeles auto show.
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