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Mitsubishi previews XM people-mover concept

Seventh heaven: The Mitsubishi XM concept is related to the Concept AR shown at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, and fuses an SUV with a seven-seat people-mover.

XM MPV concept to be shown by Mitsubishi at Indonesian show, unlikely for Aus

Mitsubishi logo5 Aug 2016

MITSUBISHI has shown off a new SUV/people-mover concept, dubbed the XM, ahead of its debut at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show later this month.

The XM is a spiritual successor to the Concept AR that was revealed at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, and combines seven-seat people-hauling capability with the ground clearance and soft-road ability of an SUV, although it is unlikely to ever make it to Australia.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) head of corporate communications Shayna Welsh said that there was little chance that the XM would be coming Down Under, band that it would most likely be sold in south-east Asian markets.

“It’s not currently under consideration for the Australian market,” she said.

“We don’t have a great deal of information on it, but it would stand to reason that some of the ASEAN markets (would get the XM), because it is being previewed in Indonesia.” The front fascia of the XM incorporates Mitsubishi’s ‘dynamic shield’ design, seen on other models such as the Pajero Sport and Outlander.

The roof line tapers off towards the back giving the XM a coupe-like profile, while prominent fenders and a muscular grille give it an SUV-like feel.

The underguard protecting the bottom of the body and the unspecified level of ground clearance give an indication that it could have some off-road ability.

While dimensions are yet to be released, the XM concept is likely to be smaller than a traditional people-mover or seven-seat SUV, and Mitsubishi has said that a small crossover MPV based on the XM will be produced in Indonesia from October 2017.

Despite offering an MPV on the Australian market for decades, MMAL has no plans to bring any sort of MPV to Australia in the near future.

The Japanese car-maker offered the Nimbus from 1984-2004 before ditching it in favour of the more stylish Grandis, which was discontinued in 2010.

Ms Welsh said that the market demand for MPVs was not great enough to need one in the company’s line-up.

“It’s just such a low volume for this market so, if anything, we would be concentrating on the SUV and LCV segments because there’s quite a bit of growth in those areas at the moment,” she said.

While the people-mover segment is not one of the most lucrative on the market, some models have recorded strong sales in 2016.

Year-to-date the leader is the Kia Carnival (2857), followed by the Honda Odyssey (1628), Hyundai iMAX (891), Volkswagen Multivan (557) and Toyota Tarago (479).

The Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show runs from August 11-21.

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