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Thread: Mitsubishi to Reduce U.S. Committment?

  1. #11
    Senior Member highwire's Avatar
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    https://carbuzz.com/news/mitsubishis...ally-different this also repeats some of that article.

    I think if Nissan is taking the "wheel" in N. America, why not transplant the Nissan Leaf's battery to make an electric Mirage?

    Of course, I am just concerned about the subcompact market in the U.S.



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    Senior Member highwire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler View Post
    Let's not throw in the towel so quick lol. Mitsubishi did just build a brand new headquarters in Franklin TN. And every manufacturer is suffering too.
    Yes, every manufacturer is suffering. An 8% loss in Q1 2020 does not seem out of the ordinary, considering much of March and even Feb was a coronavirus economic downspiral.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Subcompact Culture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highwire View Post
    https://carbuzz.com/news/mitsubishis...ally-different this also repeats some of that article.

    I think if Nissan is taking the "wheel" in N. America, why not transplant the Nissan Leaf's battery to make an electric Mirage?

    Of course, I am just concerned about the subcompact market in the U.S.
    Not even close to being that easy. While it can be done (see the Spark EV), the EV model has to go through federalization which costs a lot of cash. The Spark EV was a lot of fun, by the way, but since it was a retrofit, didn't offer enough space for many. Which leads me to your second point: The subcompact car market in the U.S. is nearly gone. Again.

    I wrote this piece for AutoWise today: https://autowise.com/the-toyota-yari...year-autowise/.

    Toyota is pulling the Yaris in the U.S. Keep in mind, Toyota has offered a subcompact car of some sort on the U.S. market through thick and thin dating back to at least the 1970s. Starlet. Tercel. Paseo. Echo. Yaris. This doesn't include the Scion xB (1), Scion xA, Scion xD, or Scion iQ. Corolla will be the smallest thing offered now.

    In no particular order, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Mazda2, Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio hatchback, Hyundai Accent hatchback: all gone. This leaves the Mirage, Chevy Spark, Sonic (on life support), Hyundai Accent sedan, Rio sedan, and MINI Coopers as the sole subcompacts these days. This does not include some of the smaller CUVs, such as Renegade (also on life support), CH-R, Mazda CX-3, Chevy Trax, etc.

    I started Subcompact Culture in 2008 as the small car market was blowing up. I was in Ford media presentations telling me the future of cars is small like the Fiesta. What they should've said was "The future of cars is small, so long as gas prices are high."

    Small cars make equally small margins. Big gas prices are bad for small cars. The current economy is bad for pretty much all cars.

    Rough economies are bad for small car companies. Suzuki, Isuzu, Daihatsu. I hope Mitsubishi can weather this. With the alliance issues, I am a bit worried, to be honest. Fingers crossed, however.

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    Senior Member highwire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subcompact Culture View Post

    Small cars make equally small margins. Big gas prices are bad for small cars. The current economy is bad for pretty much all cars.

    Rough economies are bad for small car companies. Suzuki, Isuzu, Daihatsu. I hope Mitsubishi can weather this. With the alliance issues, I am a bit worried, to be honest. Fingers crossed, however.
    Why are big gas prices bad for small cars? I am assuming they are bad for the ones that are marginally more fuel efficient, as opposed to the significantly more fuel efficient like the Mirage. If the fuel economy is not nearly as good as a hybrid, which might only cost $3000 more for a Prius C, then it does make sense to upgrade than buy a fuel inefficient subcompact for 17000.

    The 2020 Chevy Sonic gets 26 city, 34 highway. My Ford Focus 2000 got that. There are different conventional, mildly plain cars for everyone, but fuel economy is something that I expect more from 2 decades after the manufacture of my first car.

    That said, it's nice to have options. Cars are like cell phones- there are many options today, despite the many automakers out of business. My next car might be a Mini-Electric, simply because it might be the cheapest electric modern car with decent range. But 9 years is a long time from now. I might even keep my car for 15 years- my first was borderline 20, so I wouldn't take it that far, but I never know what I will need or want.

    But I could equally go with a Fiat 500e, or a Nissan Leaf. I just think the Mirage has its own "sporty" style-even though it lacks any muscle. The Fiat has wonderful paint and handlebars. Call it a wedding for Nissan and Mitsubishi and make the hatch & subcompact market relevant again. I've never even seen a rally cross race in the U.S. Do they even exist? Hatches are an attractive design, but there is very little marketing done for them. About the only interesting car I see on the road is the beefed up Honda Civic Type R. I don't need to feel like I am driving fast. I just like to want my car to look like it can slide through the mud and appear to walk away from it without a whimper or a scratch. *Joke*

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    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subcompact Culture View Post
    ...Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Mazda2, Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio hatchback, Hyundai Accent hatchback: all gone.
    ...Small cars make equally small margins.
    Exactly.

    The Mirage doesn't have a significant margin to help carry the brand in the US at its current rate of sales. How much money do they really make when someone buys a new $16,000 Mirage for $11,500? It can't be much.

    Mitsubishi needs to be selling more $$$ Eclipse Cross and Outlanders...or anything with a fat profit margin. That's where the money is.

    But the US market is saturated with SUVs, crossovers and trucks. I can understand why Mitsubishi management is sitting in a room thinking "Do we really want to continue spending resources trying to penetrate a market like the US?" It sounds like the answer may be "No."

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.9 mpg (US) ... 22.1 km/L ... 4.5 L/100 km ... 62.3 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member highwire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Fuel View Post
    Exactly.

    The Mirage doesn't have a significant margin to help carry the brand in the US at its current rate of sales. How much money do they really make when someone buys a new $16,000 Mirage for $11,500? It can't be much.

    Mitsubishi needs to be selling more $$$ Eclipse Cross and Outlanders...or anything with a fat profit margin. That's where the money is.

    But the US market is saturated with SUVs, crossovers and trucks. I can understand why Mitsubishi management is sitting in a room thinking "Do we really want to continue spending resources trying to penetrate a market like the US?" It sounds like the answer may be "No."
    You may be right. The question is, will U.S. demand ever change? Perhaps temporarily it seemed to be the case after 2008. Perhaps even more temporarily after the 2020 downturn, but the economic needs would take precedent, assuming cars are given the least luxury allocation from a disposable income.
    Last edited by highwire; 06-23-2020 at 01:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Fuel View Post
    Exactly.

    The Mirage doesn't have a significant margin to help carry the brand in the US at its current rate of sales. How much money do they really make when someone buys a new $16,000 Mirage for $11,500? It can't be much.

    Mitsubishi needs to be selling more $$$ Eclipse Cross and Outlanders...or anything with a fat profit margin. That's where the money is.

    But the US market is saturated with SUVs, crossovers and trucks. I can understand why Mitsubishi management is sitting in a room thinking "Do we really want to continue spending resources trying to penetrate a market like the US?" It sounds like the answer may be "No."
    On a positive note - The Mirage is quite reliable. We may still be talking about them 15-20 years after they are done selling them here.

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    Senior Member highwire's Avatar
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    Also what would happen if the Spark became the only subcompact in the U.S? They would enjoy even more profits. Kind of like the Intel and AMD competition over the past 30 years- AMD's market share waxed and waned, but in the past 5 years, AMD market share went from 10% to nearly 50% in the high-end cpu segment.

    I think that the Spark and Mirage could be a similar comparison. Spark being Intel and the Mirage being like AMD. People want options, but value and savings for consumer along motivate others to seek an alternative when there is only one option. Navigating city streets, alleys, having more garage space, I would say are not top priorities of car buyers, but they make a huge difference on an every day basis for those with limited space or means. My parking is not an issue but it is nice to be able to park in any spot, even ones next to large SUVs & pickups that cross the painted lines and I am wedged in between two that can't fit even a sedan.

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    Senior Member highwire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    On a positive note - The Mirage is quite reliable. We may still be talking about them 15-20 years after they are done selling them here.
    Yes, and that could translate into brand loyalty. They offer a $250 discount for current owners. I think that 15 years between cars, however, is a long time to count on customers for an expected profit though. The marketing could be geared towards college graduates, single households, and elderly, but I think commuters would be a segment for those who drive less than 30 miles. More than that and I think the highway speeds are more of a concern so it depends more on location and routes.

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    Senior Member Dirk Diggler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highwire View Post
    Yes, and that could translate into brand loyalty. They offer a $250 discount for current owners. I think that 15 years between cars, however, is a long time to count on customers for an expected profit though. The marketing could be geared towards college graduates, single households, and elderly, but I think commuters would be a segment for those who drive less than 30 miles. More than that and I think the highway speeds are more of a concern so it depends more on location and routes.
    Taking my Mirage on a road trip next week. It sits at 3k rpms for the most part. My volume is turned up to 40 to hear my podcasts.



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