Despite previously offering performance cars such as the 3000GT, Eclipse, and even the Galant VR4, Mitsubishi’s current lineup is full of lackluster crossovers and one uninspiring subcompact. Even the Eclipse Cross, which was supposed to bring back the Eclipse name in sporty CUV form, came up short on the fun. Over the last several years, Mitsubishi fans have been asking what happened. Why doesn’t Mitsubishi sell anything sporty or fun anymore?
To get to the bottom of this mystery, CarThrottle spoke with Mitsubishi’s U.K. boss Rob Lindley at the Geneva Motor Show this year. According to Lindley, you can blame current market trends, as well as Mitsubishi’s relatively low sales volume.
“Mitsubishi’s focus is now SUVs, crossover, four-wheel drive, along with alternative fuel technology. Mitsubishi has moved around different brand positionings, whether it’s been Spacestar style vehicles or sports car derivatives, Evo—it’s not had that clarity of focus,” Lindley told CarThrottle. “As a business that sells 1.2 million cars worldwide, in a global sense, it’s not a big business. If you try and be in all the different segments of the market and follow trends, like sports cars, it would be difficult to be economically viable.”
Even if Mitsubishi did listen to enthusiasts and add performance cars back to its lineup, Lindley doubts they’d be profitable. “I don’t know how many people focus in on that now. I don’t think it’s a large segment of today’s car market,” he said.