Mitsubishi issued two recalls this month, one big, one small, that affect several cars from the brand's past and current lineup. The major recall covers old Lancers, Lancer Sportbacks, Outlanders, and Outlander Sports that might have an issue with corrosion weakening the suspension. The second recall affects the current-generation Outlander and Outlander PHEV that have improperly built seat belt assemblies.
NHTSA campaign No. 20V279000 states that Mitsubishi is recalling 141,200 2008-2010 Lancers, 2010 Lancer Sportbacks, 2008-2013 Outlanders, and 2011-2016 Outlander Sports due to the possibility that the front cross member on these vehicles might be damaged. If these vehicles encountered road salt, snowmelt water, and anti-freezing agents, the cross member could corrode. If the cross member corrodes, there is a slight possibility the front control arm could detach and create an extremely dangerous situation.
TOKYO — The auto alliance of Nissan and Renault said Wednesday it will be sharing more vehicle parts, technology and models to save costs as the industry struggles to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Alliance Operating Board Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said the group, which also includes smaller Japanese automaker Mitsubishi, will have each company focusing on geographic regions.
TOKYO — Mitsubishi will focus on cutting fixed costs by 20% or more in the next two years after reporting an 89% drop in annual profit, its weakest performance in three years, and skipping its year-end dividend.
The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated Mitsubishi's struggles in a year where Japan's sixth biggest carmaker was already battling falling sales in China and also southeast Asia, its largest market which accounts for one-quarter of sales.
For fiscal 2019 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has posted its first operating loss in two decades. This is mainly due to a delay in the development of the first Japanese-made passenger jet.
The company reported a loss of 29.5 billion yen, or over 274 million dollars, from business activities for the fiscal year that ended in March. This came after the firm took a loss of about 2.42 billion dollars related to the Mitsubishi Spacejet project.
A report in the Japanese business daily Nikkei, picked up by Automotive News, said Mitsubishi anticipates using a Nissan engine in the next-generation Outlander headed our way later this year. If the report comes true, the engine swap would be a first for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance partners outside of Japanese kei cars. Mitsubishi engineers will have an easier time slotting in a Nissan engine as the next-gen Outlander gives up its GS platform — an architecture Mitsubishi co-developed with Daimler Chrysler almost 20 years ago — to move to a modified version of the CMF platform that supports the Nissan Rogue and Qashqai, our Rogue Sport.
Last December, Auto Express spoke to Ponz Pandikuthira, Nissan's European vice president of product planning. The exec said Nissan had two hybrid powertrains under consideration for the next-generation Qashqai, the first being Nissan's serial hybrid ePower system that's fared well in Japan where overall speeds are low, but that might not be suited to Europe's higher average speeds. As for a PHEV, Pandikuthira said, "We're not pursuing a big plug-in hybrid strategy. On some car lines we'll try it out, but the business case for plug-in hybrids is not very good."
When I'm scouring the rows of a big, fast-inventory-turnover vehicle boneyard for fascinating examples of automotive history, I keep strange examples of badge engineering at the top of my shopping list. Subarus with Saab emblems, Isuzus with Acura emblems, Hyundais with Mitsubishi emblems, Austins with Nash emblems, Mazdas with Mercury emblems, all the vehicles that sprang into existence because Carmaker A wanted to fill a vacant slot in the showrooms and Carmaker B proved willing to offer a vehicle that fit that slot. While I have yet to unearth a discarded Suzuki Equator pickup, I've found this truck with a far more convoluted model-name history: a 2006 Mitsubishi Raider in Phoenix.
The history of the Mitsubishi Galant in North America goes all the way back to the 1971 model year, when Chrysler imported the first-generation Galant and badged it as the Dodge Colt. Later in the 1970s, we got Galant coupes badged as Dodge Challengers and Plymouth Sapporos, and Mitsubishi began selling Galants (now with front-wheel-drive) with the company's own badging starting in the 1985 model year. The sixth-generation Galant arrived here for the 1989 model year, as a stylish and technology-packed competitor to the Taurus, Camry, and Accord, and it made a fair-sized splash in the automotive world. You'd have a tough time finding one of these cars today, but this '89 appeared in a self-service yard in Phoenix a couple of months back and I was there to document it.
Remember the front-wheel-drive Dodge and Plymouth Colts (not to mention the Plymouth Champ and Eagle Summit) of the late 1970s through the middle 1990s? Those were Mitsubishi Mirages, and you could buy them here with Mitsubishi badging from 1985 through 2002. Then, for the 2014 model year, the Mirage returned to North America, as the cheapest new car you could buy here. Now, barely a half-decade later, I'm seeing significant quantities of these Mirages in the car graveyards I frequent. Here's a pretty clean '15 in a yard located within sight of Pikes Peak in Colorado.
Former Autoblog editor-in-chief Mike Austin was kind enough to drop this little nugget onto Twitter yesterday: the history of Mitsubishi timeline on the company's press website. Basically, it's a virtual museum, spanning from the 1917 Mitsubishi Model A to the 2008 Galant Fortis Sportback. Frankly, it's not that surprising that they didn't go much further beyond that, but still, the timeline provides both a fun trip down memory lane and an introduction to fun and/or wacky JDM models we never got.
Besides showing photos, there's actually a sizable amount of info for each, which has quite clearly and often delightfully been translated from Japanese.
In this week's Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski and Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. They talk about cars they've driven recently, including the 2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X, Hyundai Kona and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Then they talk news, starting with Volvo's new pick-up and drop-off service. Then they talk about Q1 U.S. sales figures. Lastly, they discuss the possibility of new styles of motorcycle from Harley-Davidson, including a flat-track bike and a cafe racer.