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Another Delay For American Release Of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

After years of delays, it seems that the US release of the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid has been pushed back yet again…. I think this is the 7th time or something? Now, rather than a fall 2016 launch, the popular (in Europe and Japan) SUV is slated to be released in the US sometime next summer.

Considering that the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid (PHEV) was actually supposed to launch here in the US all the way back in 2013, the delays have become almost comical. How is it even possible to delay the regional release of a model that’s been available in other markets for 4 years? Why not just scrap the release outright? Shouldn’t the company be releasing a new plug-in SUV model by now anyways?


So, what’s the reason for the most recent delay? According to the public relations manager for Mitsubishi in the US, Alex Fedorak: “Following a thorough evaluation process, we have determined that, in order to meet a level of competitiveness that will exceed customer expectations in the United States, the launch of the Outlander PHEV will be delayed until the summer of 2017.”

It’s worth noting here that there’s not much competition in the US as far as EV (all-electric) and PHEV SUV models go — there’s really only the Tesla Model X (which is much more expensive), the Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid (which is considerably more expensive than the Outlander PHEV), and the BMW X5 xDrive40e (which is also more expensive than the Outlander PHEV)….

Our sister site Gas 2 provides more, stating that the “weasel worded corporate speak may mean that the company is waiting for the upcoming next-generation Outlander, or it could mean that the company is circling the drain and the Outlander that never was will never be. Mitsubishi is staggering after it was revealed earlier this year that it has been fudging the fuel economy figures for some of its cars for more than 30 years. Sales are plummeting and along with company profits.”

Adding more flavor: “Where once the Outlander PHEV was the best-selling plug-in vehicle in England and Europe, it has now slipped into third position. In Japan, sales have gone over a cliff. It used to sell 1,000 Outlander PHEV’s a month in the home market, but since the fuel economy cheating scandal broke, the trend has been drastically downward. Mitsubishi reported 250 sold in April, 174 in May, and 253 in June.”

Well, those figures certainly paint a picture. And would explain why the company is now seemingly dithering on the matter. You can find more historical European EV sales here.

Notably, Nissan seems intent on releasing PHEV and EV SUVs beginning so time in the next few years (possibly longer).

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