Mitsubishi stopping SUV exports to Europe – report

Mitsubishi has reportedly planned to stop exports of SUVs to Europe next month, according to Automotive News Europe, with an anonymous source telling the news site that the Japanese brand will discontinue the exports of the Outlander plug-in hybrid, the ASX and the Eclipse Cross.

The three SUV models comprised 64% of Mitsubishi’s 53,242 passenger vehicle sales in the first six months of 2020, according to the report, while imports of the Mirage hatchback and the L200/Triton pick-up truck are to continue until the end of 2021, it said.

“Without the SUVs, there is no business. Dealers can’t survive on the small car (Mirage) and the L200 (Triton),” the anonymous source told Automotive News Europe. This decision to discontinue imports of its strong sellers was in order to avoid having to re-engineer the existing models to comply with tightening emissions regulations, the source close to the company added.

The next-generation Outlander is set to go on sale in the second quarter of 2021

The decision to take the trio of models off the market puts Mitsubishi’s dealers in Europe in a tough position, as the Outlander PHEV benefits from low-emissions vehicles subsidies in many countries on the continent. However, developments across the Atlantic indicate that replacements are near.

Two out of these three models discontinued for Europe have been set for new versions in North America, with the next-generation Outlander announced to go on sale in the second quarter of next year. The upcoming, new-generation SUV will be essentially a productionised Engelberg Tourer/e-Yi concept, and the concepts have previewed the next Outlander PHEV’s electrified powertrain.

This will feature a 2.4 litre petrol engine augmented by an electric motor on each axle, which will be fed by a larger, 20 kWh lithium-ion battery, up from 12 kWh previously. This yields a claimed pure-electric driving range of more than 70 km, and a total range of 700 km, the automaker has claimed.

Meanwhile, the Eclipse Cross is also set to receive a significant facelift in the first quarter of 2021, where considerable redesigns for its front and rear ends bring it closer in line with the firm’s latest design language, along with an update interior and new infotainment system. Also due to receive a major update for the United States market are the Mirage and Mirage G4, otherwise known to us as the Attrage.

GALLERY: 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander spyshots

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