Comeback possible, but unlikely.
Forty five years. That’s how long Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi has had a Lancer in its lineup. The family saloon and hatch combo have been confirmed to make an exit from the Mitsubishi Australia lineup at the end of this year, one of the last countries to do so despite global production having ended last year.
Only the Chinese and Taiwanese factories and markets will continue to offer a Lancer, but they are both models unique to those markets (with the former getting a heavily-redesigned Grand Lancer to boot). For 2018, Mitsubishi Motors Australia (MMAL) has secured enough cars, it says, to fulfil this years’ projected demands, and will not be asking for more when stock is exhausted.
With the exception of the budget Mirage, MMAL will then go forward with just high-riding vehicles, namely SUVs and utes, in our market. The Triton, Outlander, ASX, Pajero and Pajero Sport will soon be joined by the Eclipse Cross this week, and they’re going to continue on that path for a while.
“We’d hope that medium- or long-term, the opportunities the [Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi] Alliance brings might end up bringing some sort of solution in that passenger segment. [The family saloon segment is] on the decline, but where’s it going to stop? It’ll plateau at some point. What we do know is the SUV strategy we undertook a few years ago was the right one.” — John Signoriello, Chief Executive, Mitsubishi Motors Australia
Despite the Lancer providing pretty decent sales year-on-year, it seems that they’re far more confident with their high-riding offerings which have done their part in bagging MMAL the title of the third-best SUV marque in Australia, with some 48,000 high-riding Mistubishis finding new homes last year. A total of some 80,000 Mitsubishis were sold overall, with that number expected to grow further with the stylish Eclipse Cross.