Japanese automotive giant Mitsubishi Motors has unveiled a new three-year mid-term business plan dubbed “small but beautiful” which will prioritise the launch of environmentally friendly models that, according to the company, “contribute to developing a society where people, cars, and nature can coexist in harmony.”
It came as part of a raft of announcements this week from Mitsubishi Motors, including a decision to freeze the introduction of new models to the European market and a massive net loss in its first quarter financials. The company also announced that it would cease production of the Mitsubishi Pajero at the end of 2021 after a 39-year run and global sales of over 3.3 million.
However, the flipside of Mitsubishi’s cleaning-house was its new mid-term business plan – officially called “‘Small but Beautiful’ – and which will focus on the ASEAN market and strengthening its plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) models.
Over the next three years – from fiscal years 2020 through to 2022 – Mitsubishi Motors will seek to reduce its costs by 20 per cent optimising production capacity and focusing on plug-in hybrid EVs, hybrid EVs, and 4WD models.
“We will shift our strategy from all-round expansion to selection and concentration,” said Takao Kato, Mitsubishi Motors’ chief executive officer. “First of all, we will complete our structural reforms and further strengthen our competitive areas—ultimately to build a corporate structure that can surely generate profits during this mid-term period.”
Mitsubishi has a range of PHEV and HEV (hydrogen electric vehicle) models it hopes to launch over the next three financial years, starting with the Eclipse Cross PHEV in FY2020. This will be followed by a new all electric vehicle intended for the Chinese Market in FY2021 and, in FY2020, and a new Outlander PHEV.
A new Xpander HEV will also be prioritised for FY2023 amidst a range of new work and exploration vehicles, including a new Outlander SUV in FY2021, a new Triton pickup in FY2022, and a new Xpander and Pajero Sport in FY2023.
Mitsubishi will also double down on its involvement in the Renault—Nissan—Mitsubishi Alliance, which will include a joint study with Nissan on developing new EVs, autonomous driving and connected technologies.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.