What now for Mitsubishi owners?
The new car industry was having an especially hard time even before COVID-19 hit our shores. Companies that wanted to sell their cars in Europe had to recertify their vehicles to new emissions standards (the WLTP and RDE/RDE2) to make them more representative of the real world. This caused many manufacturers major headaches, with certain models being removed from sale and production of newer models delayed in some cases.
Then, from this year, carmakers had to contend with meeting a challenging 95g/km carbon dioxide average across their model ranges. Compounded manufacturer woes were the fallouts from ‘Dieselgate’ and the need to develop hybrid petrol cars quickly, let alone invest heavily in electric-only vehicle technology, which are not yet profitable in the majority of cases.
There can be no doubt that certain carmakers, with the majority of their markets not in the EU, have questioned whether, or not, it is worth it. It seems that Mitsubishi Motors, part of the Renault and Nissan alliance, has decided that it is not. While Mitsubishi’s 4×4 PHEV (pictured) is the most common Plug-in Electric Hybrid on UK roads, the company had only an all-models 1% market share in Europe.
While the company has been making vehicles for 103 years, it took until 1974 for it to arrive in the UK. The issuing of letters to its dealers during July 2020, stating that its new models were not going to reach Europe for the time being, indicates the end of an era.
A spokesperson for Mitsubishi has told the UK press that dealerships are still selling cars for now and that it is too early to comment on the future of Mitsubishi’s British dealer network. However, it is believed that Mitsubishi will retreat to focus on the Asian new car markets, while Renault concentrates on Europe and Nissan in Japan, North America and China.
What does this mean for current Mitsubishi owners?
While the most recent announcement affects forthcoming new models, existing examples of current production cars, SUVs and trucks will still be available for the foreseeable future.
Parts, aftersales and maintenance are unaffected as well. Long-term, it is likely that Mitsubishi parts and expertise could be distributed through existing the Renault, or Nissan network, presuming that current Mitsubishi dealers decide to cease trading. Therefore, you will not be left in the dark, if you decide to buy a new Mitsubishi.