Mitsubishi watched as its U.S. and Canadian volumes rose steadily over the past several years — growth hampered by a limited product lineup and so-so vehicle quality. Still, it was growth, and Mitsu made sure to celebrate each year-over-year sales increase.
Well, that was then, and this is now. As a member of an alliance dominated by Renault and Nissan and hit hard, like many others, by the coronavirus pandemic, the future holds a different strategy for the Japanese automaker. For the U.S., it also seems to hold fewer Mitsubishis.
Previously, Mitsu targeted North America and China for its future growth. Now, with its alliance partners insisting on a concerted, collective effort in which each member capitalizes on individual strengths in a limited number of markets, Mitsu now plans to abandon its previous growth plan.
In a shareholders meeting last week (reported on by Automotive News), the automaker’s CEO, Takao Kato, announced a turn away from North America and China. The company’s focus will now be on Southeast Asia and Pacific nations.
“Even though we increased sales volume in the megamarkets, we have not yet achieved the level of profit we expected. We aim to increase sales in the regions where we can offer our core products. We will gradually reduce our commitment to megamarkets,” Kato said, referring, in part, to the U.S.