US Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Sales Target: 6000 Vehicles In 2016

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

I’m sure that there are people reading this who have been waiting for the US release of the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid for literally years now…. So, most of you (who haven’t simply bought a different car in the meantime) may be disappointed to learn that the Japanese company is apparently only expecting to sell 6,000 units of the 2016 model year in the US.

The Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is expected to hit the US market in May, and to be slowly rolled out as inventory arrives — with monthly sales therefore projected to lie at over 1,000 units per month (assuming relatively even sales through the year).

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug In Netherlands 11

Given the repeated delays to date, though, perhaps the May launch date should be taken with a grain of salt.

Automotive News provides more:

Mitsubishi expects to sell as many as 6,000 of the gasoline-electric crossovers in the U.S. in 2016, (Mitsubishi CEO Osamu) Masuko said. The new crossover/SUV and next year’s arrival of the Outlander PHEV are further proof that Mitsubishi has no plan to exit the US, despite the fact it will end vehicle production at its only North America assembly plant in November, Masuko said.

“The US is a big market, and of course we’re going to be continuing sales there,” Masuko said. In July, Mitsubishi said it will stop manufacturing vehicles at its Normal, Ill., factory as part of global realignment to concentrate production in Japan, Russia and Southeast Asia. Mitsubishi wants to sell the factory, but will shutter it if no buyer can be found. Masuko said the search for a buyer is still on.

“We still don’t have a promising buyer yet, but we haven’t given up,” he said.

Interesting situation. I’d caution that maybe those still waiting for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV may want to just go ahead and consider a different option.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

15 thoughts on “US Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Sales Target: 6000 Vehicles In 2016

  • What are the sales of this model in other places?
    And what could the potential sales be in the US and what could the output of this model be at that factory that will be shut down?
    Does not sound like a good business move to me.

    • It’s by far the top selling EV in Europe, 20k sold in the first 9 months of the year and will probably reach closer to 35k before the year is over.

      In Japan they have been selling 5,6k in the last quarter. But “only” about twice that for the first 9 months in total.

      Then there are probably at least 2-3k more in Russia and other places, but that is just a guesstimate.

      Since Americans love their big cars and this is by far the cheapest PHEV-SUV while still getting a very functional car I think it could easily sell 3k per month in the US if they would get as many as they could sell.

    • As mentioned, it tops EV sales in Europe. In fact, its high sales in Europe have been one major reason Mitsubishi kept delaying US availability… that and the fact that Mitsubishi almost pulled out of the US.

  • While there appeared to be many people excited about this cars roll-out, it looks like Mitsubishi management is not in that group. Did they give a reason for the small number? They expect no demand in US, demand too high else where, don’t want to make them?

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    • They haven’t given an official reason, but several car websites have reported that Mitsubishi’s in house battery supplier can barely keep up with demand in their current markets (Japan and Europe, mainly). They’re trying to ramp up battery production though.

  • This car is the most sold green car here in Sweden. It has a few faults for me personally, otherwise it would be perfect. I occasionally tow a caravan but this one has tine weeny bit too low towing capacity. It works for our current caravan, but any future upgrade would be over the weight limit with this car. The Passat GTE actually has 100kg more towing capacity, 1600kg versus 1500kg for the Outlander. Ideally I would like to 2000kg, that is the territory where most modern medium-sized caravans are, if you want decent cargo capacity in it. Which is something you should want.

    Other than that it seems to be a nice car. A colleague told me today he bought one, receiving it the other week. I will ask for more detailed opinions from him.

  • I am exactly that one who has been waiting for this vehicle…too long. Time to move on. Our present 2005 Sienna is gently disintegrating before our eyes. Can we last until a hybrid SUV appears in the backward kingdom of North America or will we need to invest in another gasser? Stay tuned for the gripping finale.

    • Perhaps wait for the Chrysler Town & Country plug in hybrid?

  • Given the dramatic success of this platform elsewhere in the world, and the utter lack of an affordable plug-in SUV in the U.S., I would have hoped that Mitsubishi would have the vision to build this vehicle in the plant to be shuttered along with other vehicles based on this excellent platform.

    • I think the main delay has been battery availability. Demand has been higher elsewhere than expected, and battery supplier apparently not able to ramp up fast enough.

  • I have waited for this model since 2013. Heck, I have a news alert on it. After all the delays, I do think they will arrive in the U.S. next May. It is selling really well elsewhere, the U.S. is a giant market to not enter, and this is a firm date.

  • I own the Outlander and it is the same color as pictured here. I will try ti answer some of the questions and comments by other commentators here.

    Firstly, I suspect the lower than expected number is more a factor that the current vehicle is now end of model and that it will soon be updated, probably in the next 12 months or so. It has certainly sold well in European jurisdictions and Japan. I am not sure of the actual number here in Oz but it has been healthy as I understand.

    The performance of the vehicle is pretty good and there is seamless transitions between EV, onboard generation and motor. This was a real surprise for us actually. In regards to Sandos’ comments about towing, well it has been our experience that the PHEV has plenty of grunt for all our towing needs, and according to the specs, it has more torque than its petrol or diesel equivalents. This is undoubtedly due to dual EV motors which are assured by the 2 litre motor when needed, but it is a heavier vehicle. The important point about towing is that you need to make sure that you have at least 30% state of charge (SOC) within the battery to get the right performance. This is easily achieved and maintained by enabling the ‘battery save’ function (via a switch on center consol). Once enabled, it will keep the battery within 5% of the SOC at the time the switch was enabled. SOC is maintained by the onboard generator. My only gripe with the vehicle is that it should have had a bigger battery pack, as it only has a 12kw battery and given its weight, only delivers an EV range of approximately 52km. However, this still provides probably 80% of our overall commuted and we expect to only spend about $600 p.a in electricity and fuel as opposed to the $3,500 – $4,000 we use to. Range extension is seamless and you hardly notice the generator or motor cut in and out once the battery is depleted.

    Finally, I would encourage those interested in the PHEV to visit the myoutlanderPHEV dot com blog where you will find a lot of info and experiences from actual owners. You will also find a stack of technical documents and user manuals that I uploaded under the same handle I use here. Hope this helps

    • Thanks. Towing is not an issue I even considered, but everything else matches my basic impression from a short test drive. Solid vehicle. No surprise it sells so well. Just wish they could get the battery supply worked out and double or triple the battery size.

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