Takao Kato, New CEO, Says Mitsubishi Will Not Retire From U.S.

May 30th, 2019 by

Takao Kato will most likely be Mitsubishi’s Motors’ next CEO. The new CEO will release a midterm plan before April 2020. Under his watch, the company won’t abandon its the North American market. The Next-gen Outlander will grow while the next-gen Outlander Sport will shrink.

“Sales are being continued. North America is one of the biggest markets. Therefore, exiting from the sales market would probably not be an option,” he said during a press conference, according to Automotive News.

Mitsubishi won’t stop selling cars in America. Kato will likely rework the brand’s product line to fit the automaker’s “small but beautiful” strategy.  That will aim for tiny, yet steady profit growth.

“If you are a big-scale OEM, of course, you will be able to secure a profit. But will that be appropriate for us too, at MMC?” Kato said, according to Automotive News. “This is something we believe we should deliberate on going forward.”

Kato will deliver a mid-term business plan for Mitsubishi Motors. Sometime before the fiscal year finishes in April of 2020. The plan will provide a better idea of what to expect with him as the new boss of the company.

Mitsubishi’s future in the United States might include bringing a pickup back to its American lineup, at least that’s what’s being reported. Rumors suggest that it’s a part of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance. The three automakers might create a shared platform for future trucks.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation said on Friday that Osamu Masuko will step down as its chief executive on June 2. Masuko will be replaced by Takao Kato, president of the Indonesia of its operations. Masuko will keep his role as chairman of the board; Masuko and Kato held a press conference on to discuss the changes.

Japan’s sixth-largest automaker said that this month it expects the profit to fall to 90.0 billion yen ($821 million). As it navigates a slowing demand for cars, global trade frictions, and the need to develop new technologies during the month. Nissan Motor Company holds a controlling stake over Japan’s sixth-largest automaker.

A report for Autocar reported that Mitsubishi wants more literal space between its three most popular SUVs. The outlet quotes “a senior source” stating, “Today we aren’t in an ideal position, with our SUVs close in size, but in the next 18 months you will start to see a strategy that separates them out.” Redesigns for the next generation of the Outlander, Outlander Sport and Eclipse Cross, will put about 7.9 inches of difference in the length between each of the vehicle.

The Outlander stands at 184.8 inches long; the Outlander Sport is smaller at 171.9 inches long, Eclipse Cross 173.4 inches long. The revamp would see the Outlander expand, while the Outlander Sport gets smaller. If the Outlander gets longer, then it wouldn’t be a surprise at seeing the Eclipse Cross putting on a few inches, too.

The first result should blossom next year, and it would be possible thanks to the platform-sharing with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. In comparison, the Rogue is 184.5 inches long, the Rogue Sport 172.4 inches. Nissan can extend to 169.1 inches.

The specific range will extend plug-in hybrid as well as fully electric options, too. The Outlander PHEV will go to a new generation, and the Eclipse Cross will come in a hybrid form as well as with some PHEV flavors. The updated PHEV powertrain shown in the Engelberg Tourer Concept at the Geneva Motor Show was paired with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors at the axles, which delivers 44 miles of EV range on the WLTP cycle. That’s more EV miles than the current Outlander PHEV; 16 more miles to be exact.

The Outlander Sport is set to get a battery-electric trim. The “senior source” said, “We will not have a unique nameplate, but instead offer the appropriate electrification options for the vehicles and how people will use them.” There will most likely be a lot more in store for the brand, especially in the U.S. The initiative puts profit ahead of disruptive leaps and steady growth.

Sales have gone the lows of 55,683 units in 2010 to 118,074 2018. Sales are up another 12 percent through the first four months of this year. They keep going up throughout the years.

You can search the inventory of Outlanders at University Mitsubishi. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: mitsubishimotors.com


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