Mitsubishi Motors Registered Two Old Nameplates for Trademark – Montero and Lancer

June 6th, 2024 by

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The Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) sure has been busy lately. In 2023, it announced “Challenge 2025” for the halfway mark of the decade and its plans for the next two years. Shortly after, it announced “Momentum 2030” for Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) and how the automaker plans to expand the North America lineup with new and refreshed models. There has been talk about a new medium crossover, a new battery-electric vehicle (BEV), a new pickup truck, a new multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), and many more models in just a short amount of time. The newest development is trademark filings Mitsubishi has registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for two nameplates – the Montero and the Lancer Sportback.

What could this mean? Maybe nothing. Automakers register trademark names all the time, and it’s usually just that they can keep it in their back pocket for a concept that may never see the light of day. When Mitsubishi announced “Momentum 2030”, several concepts thought to be scrapped came out of nowhere – the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer plug-in hybrid, the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, and several others we haven’t heard of in years. We were surprised to see Mitsubishi bring back the Colt nameplate with a hybrid option in 2023, but it’s just a rebadged Renault Clio. The automaker needs something new and original.

That’s what brings us to these new trademark filings and other vehicles teased in 2024. It took a year for Mitsubishi Motors to join Nissan and Renault in investing in the proposed BEV production facility Ampere, but once Mitsubishi invested in Ampere, a new medium SUV for Mitsubishi was announced. No word on whether it will be one of the new nameplates coming to the U.S. lineup. Another concept set for a 2024 model year release got the greenlight in 2023, but we haven’t heard anything about it since – the Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart concept. Anyone could see why we’re not placing any bets on the Montero and Lancer Sportback trademark registration.

There has been talk of collaborations between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors to bring some new models to the U.S. Some sources say it’s a new pickup truck like the overseas Mitsubishi Triton, and some say it’s a new BEV to expand the electrified options MMNA currently has. In May 2024, Mitsubishi also released an MPV concept, the D:X, that looks a lot like its overseas Delica minivan. Everything was already up in the air, and we didn’t know when it was going to land.

The Montero and Lancer Sportback trademark filings throw another wrench into the works. Mitsubishi hasn’t mentioned the off-road Montero in years, and the Mitsubishi Lancer has only been mentioned as a crossover. Initially, fans weren’t too happy about the return of the Mitsubishi Eclipse as a crossover, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, but the sales speak for themselves – so maybe a Lancer crossover wouldn’t be such a bad idea. If that were to happen, it would be the third Mitsubishi sports car to be brought back as an SUV or crossover if we include the Mitsubishi Colt.

Basically, what we’re saying is don’t count any chickens to hatch called “Montero” or “Lancer”. Trademark filings rarely ever hold any water. Still, we’d be pleasantly surprised if either nameplate is brought back for the U.S. market. Be sure to follow along with us on University Mitsubishi social media for more information.

Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Motors