Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) reports that its vehicle sales in the United States during the first quarter of 2023 decreased by nearly 21 percent year-over-year to 20,938.
That’s the fifth consecutive month of decreasing sales (year-over-year), although the Japanese manufacturer says that the reason is not related to lack of demand but production constraints.
The good news for Mitsubishi is that its new 2023 Outlander PHEV is selling better than ever, thanks to the introduction of the latest version in late 2022.
In Q1 2023, some 1,597 were sold, which is 122 percent more than a year ago, and a new quarterly record. Also, the share of the Outlander PHEV out of Mitsubishi’s total Outlander sales increased to the highest level of 7.6 percent.
For reference, in 2022, Mitsubishi delivered 1,961 Outlander PHEVs in the US, 13 percent less than in 2021, and 2.3 percent of Mitsubishi’s total volume.
There is a big chance that this year will be the best ever for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with potentially 6,000 units (assuming that 1,500+ units per month will continue). Previously, the best was in 2018 with 4,166 units).
Cumulatively, the company sold close to 15,000 Outlander PHEVs in the country, compared to well over 300,000 sold globally (mainly in Europe) since 2013.
The main question is what will be the long-term future of Mitsubishi electrification because obviously it can’t be based on the refreshed Outlander PHEV.
The company recently announced that there will be new plug-in models, including several all-electric ones by 2028 – pickups and SUVs.
As we understand, the market launch of new BEVs in the US – in partnership with other brands in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance – must be combined with local production, to be eligible for all incentives. That would be a significant investment and potentially will be related to Nissan’s manufacturing plant (Mitsubishi sold its plant in Illinois to Rivian quite some time ago).