Mitsubishi Motors will stop new-car sales in Europe when its current products come to the end of their life cycles. The Japanese company will focus instead on profitable sales in Southeast Asia as part of its newly announced three-year midterm business plan aimed at cutting losses.
Mitsubishi announced it would be “freezing the introduction of new products” in Europe during a presentation Monday.
The strategy takes effect immediately, which means Mitsubishi will halt plans to replace the Outlander midsize SUV in Europe, a company spokesman for the region told Automotive News Europe.
Last December Mitsubishi told ANE that the Outlander, Mitsubishi’s flagship model in the region, would be replaced in the second half of this year.
Mitsubishi said in the presentation that a new Outlander would arrive in other global markets in the 2021 financial year, which starts in April 2021, with the plug-in hybrid version appearing in the automaker’s 2022 fiscal year. That suggests the replacement has been delayed, meaning the current model could continue for another year.
Mitsubishi’s newest model in Europe is the Eclipse Cross compact SUV, which went on sale in 2017.
Mitsubishi does plan to retain an aftersales presence in Europe. “Aftersales is an essential business and that will continue,” the spokesman said.
Mitsubishi has sold cars in Europe since 1975 and also built cars at the Nedcar facility in Born, Netherlands, from 1995 until 2012. Mitsubishi sold Nedcar to the VDL Group, a Dutch industrial company, in December 2012. The factory now makes the BMW X1, the Mini hatchback and Mini Countryman.
In 2019, Mitsubishi indicated it wanted to strengthen its European operations when it set up a new company to oversee regional sales after years of relying on local importers.