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Mitsubishi to expand hybrid line-up

Mitsubishi announces plans to expand its electrified and hybrid line-up to 2030 and beyond

6 Jun 2024

IN THE run up to the implementation of the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard from 2025, and as of right now, Mitsubishi Australia (MMAL) has but two electrified offerings – the Outlander PHEV and Eclipse Cross PHEV.


The situation places MMAL well behind the electrified eight ball when measured against most competitors – includingToyota which has just announced all its mainstream petrol models will be hybrid for orders received from now on.


But at its recent 2024 dealer conference, MMAL allayed dealer concerns announcing it has its own electrification product strategy up to 2030 and beyond to keep the brand in the new energy vehicle picture – and presumably to provide the right cars for its dealers to sell.


Details as to those vehicles were non-existent in the company’s statement on electrification that was disseminated nationally this week. The issue is brought into clear focus by the NVES that may see MMAL paying penalties according to NVES provisions.


Numerous manufacturers are scrambling to meet the NVES by having enough low emissions ‘fat’ to avoid or ameliorate possible penalties.


Of the Japanese brands, Honda has a squad of six hybrids available here, Nissan has two (as well as the all-electric Leaf), Mazda has expanded its MHEV electrified range, and even Suzuki has just launched a Swift Hybrid. Subaru is also in the mix with a number of hybrid models and its all-electric Solterra.


The same applies to South Korean, Chinese, European and American brands, most of whom offer electron-powered or assisted choices, some more than other.


Across the automotive Alliance of which Mitsubishi is a member with Renault and Nissan, can be found an extensive array of vehicles and powertrains/chassis featuring electrification of some sort that may potentially be leveraged by Mitsubishi to improve its electrified vehicle tally.


It’s a given there will be an electrified Triton ute at some time likely with a new dedicated powertrain featuring an inline (north/south) engine and gearbox with a 48-volt electric engine sandwiched between the two.


The PHEV and potentially MHEV powertrain could also see duty in a new Pajero Sport and potentially a new Pajero large SUV. A fully electric BEV Triton is said to be at least five years away due to development issues including where to fit a large battery and overall weight.


Other potential electrified Mitsubishis that may make it Down Under include a production version of the D:X all terrain people mover concept (a preview of the next generation Delica) seen at Tokyo Motor Show last year, as well as a replacement for the ageing ASX small SUV (the ASEAN oriented Xforce, perhaps) most probably including hybrid and fully electric drivetrain options.


Rumour has it that a BEV version of the Outlander is on the way to complement the PHEV and a new generation of the Eclipse Cross small SUV with expanded electrification drivetrain options.


Then there are the outliers like the eKx electric kei car that sells up a storm in Japan… only if MMAL can put together a compelling business case to reintroduce cars this size in its Australian line-up will we see the model here.


MMAL says its ‘core’ market status in Australia is confirmed via heavy investment in electrified powertrains that will secure the brand’s position as a volume manufacturer to 2030 and beyond.


“New model initiatives support Mitsubishi Motors’ adventure-led brand strategy, with several all-new or significantly updated models to arrive by the end of the decade,” it said in a statement.


Addressing MMAL’s national dealer network conference, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation president and CEO Takao Kato said, “Australia is a core market for MMC, and it makes an important contribution to our global business”.


“We will offer not only battery electrics but also plug-in hybrids and hybrids and introduce appropriate products that will meet the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) set by the Australian government,” he added.


Reiterating Australia’s core market position, MMC’s executive officer (responsible for product Strategy) Koichi Namiki introduced MMAL’s future product strategy by adding, “As we approach the mid-point of this decade, it is important to share Mitsubishi Motors’ brand evolution and how this will underpin Australia’s future position as a key volume player for the next five years and beyond”.


MMAL’s future pathway towards 2030 is defined by: progressive electrification through a blend of powertrains including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric, new or completely refreshed products in multiple market segments, further strengthening of Triton’s product range and appeal.


MMAL CEO Shaun Westcott confirmed, “MMAL is at a key point in its history, and today’s announcements confirm Mitsubishi Motors’ commitment to this market, via a strong product pathway to the end of the decade”.


“This includes delivering advanced powertrain technologies and a wider product choice, every model endowed with a unique spirit of adventure,” he added.


Mr Westcott reconfirmed MMAL’s support of its dealer network model saying, “Our extensive, national dealer and service centre network enables Mitsubishi owners to explore more of Australia with confidence”.


“We will continue to work closely with our dealer partners to ensure the network is geared up to support this exciting new era of Mitsubishi innovation,” he concluded.

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