Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Metropolis.
Mitsubishi used to be a really interesting, popular brand. Shoguns with electronically adjustable shocks, hydraulic suspension (on very high spec ones at least), automatic gearbox tech that even Porsche made use of... rear wheel steering on saloons, smooth v6 engines.. the Sigma was a brilliant car as well, check out this 1990 top gear review-

youtu.be/q_Gfdr8orOM

What on earth happened? I'm not looking to bash Mitsubishi as i do like the brands older models, but it seems like the new cars were designed by the same people making mitsubishi refrigerator systems for the asian market, white goods cars!!

What's the point in them these days or are they just marching to a slow death. They don't even have reliability on their side to make up for the blandness..?
Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - veloceman
Starion Widebody - top car.
Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - focussed

Mitsubishi is now unfortunately infected with the Renault - Nissan virus.

Read the whole sad story here:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Motors

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Engineer Andy

What a shame they haven't been as successful as their former trading division Mitsubishi Electric, who are one of the top A/C manufacturers in the World. Effectively Chinese firms (including their car firms) are doing what Japanese car companies did in the 1970s and 80s, first flooding the market with cheap tat, then improving quality, now going upmarket to compete with the big boys. Sadly, unless they make some big changes or specialise just in 4x4s, then I think Mitsubishi cars are doomed as a firm: too much competition that's better and often cheaper.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Engineer Andy

If I recall correctly (this may have been the subject of a thread here long ago), Mitsubishi suffered from some very bad PR in the mid to late 1990s (not sure if just in the UK or worldwide) when they were found to be greatly exaggerating their cars' reliability. To be honest, they never sold that many cars in the UK, and their flop the Carisma (a car that didn't have any) didn't help, just at the time when many rivals were upping their game.

They've always been good with 4x4s, but haven't really gone with the trend in making cars that are stylish, which would be fine if they were matching the likes of Honda and Toyota/Lexus on reliability, Mazda, Ford and BMW on handling or the Germans on performance - sadly they don't compare well in any of these stakes, and, because they don't have any European manufacturing plants, are above average on price (including for maintenance and spares), so people choose other makes that are either better value and/or better looking or to drive.

They probably do better in countries like the US, Canada, parts of the Middle East/Africa and Australia where larger 4x4s are much more popular (and worthwhile having). Realistically they should become a specialised off-road make, especially as they are now co-owned (34%) by Nissan (and as such effectively by Renault) and realistically cannot compete in a very crowded market for mainstream vehicles. They need a 'selling point' (Theresa May take note) that gets buyers through the door, as Mazda has done very effectively (as a smaller oufit themselves) with their 'zoom-zoom' brand, otherwise they are likely to slowly disappear from the marketplace.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Andrew-T

They've always been good with 4x4s, but haven't really gone with the trend in making cars that are stylish, which would be fine ....

Sorry, I'm not with you here. I must have missed any trend towards 'stylish' cars in the last 10 to 15 years. The trend has been there, towards bulk, bling and unneeded gizmos, but I haven't noticed much what I would call Style.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - gordonbennet

Sorry, I'm not with you here. I must have missed any trend towards 'stylish' cars in the last 10 to 15 years. The trend has been there, towards bulk, bling and unneeded gizmos, but I haven't noticed much what I would call Style.

Indeed, Mitsi's might not stand out from the crowd but they don't make your eyes hurt, the front end sloping backwards is a bit odd especially on the soft roader thingy, but other than that they're reasonably conservative looking, which could arguably be a point in their favour with the garish things other makers are churning out...Bentayga and latest Discovery stylish? you couldn't pay me enough to take one off your hands.

I wasn't aware Mitsi had a reliability problem, do their engines expire in a plume of smoke shortly after (or even before) warranty expiry, do Mitsi gearboxes have a ticking time bomb invoice attached?

I don't think the Carisma was a failure, it was a decent car of its time like the similar Volvo S40, what lets them down IMHO is dealers that are as miserable as sin and overpriced genuine parts.

Edited by gordonbennet on 27/05/2017 at 18:57

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - badbusdriver

I agree that the carisma was not a bad car, miss-named perhaps, but i seem to remember there being quite a lot of them about at the time they were on sale. Shared floorpan and running gear with the volvo s40/v40. I worked at a car hire company and we had a few, they were nice to drive and had a huge boot.

Anybody else remember the 1980's mitsubishi colt hatchback with the 'dual range' gearbox?. 4 speed manual gearbox, but with a low and high range for 8 gears!.

Also, on the subject of mitsubishi obscurities, remember the lonsdale?. an Oz made mitsubishi galant with a 2.6l 4 cylinder engine (otherwise found in the 1st shogun's and pajero's). I remember a local saloon when growing up in the Shetland Islands and thought it amazing that a car the size of a cortina might have an engine that big!.

And i must confess, i have a soft spot for the mad looking mitsubishi i. But then i do love small cars, and Japanese 'kei' cars in particular!.

But recent mitsubishi's are not really anything to write home about. Unless you need a double cab pickup, or are suckered in by the ridiculous mpg claims of the phev. The mirage is a case in point, too expensive and too mediocre. When it first came out, its usp was that it was the most aerodynamic car in its class!. Why exactly mitsubishi thought this would be of any consideration to buyers of a car like this is anybodies guess!.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Engineer Andy

They've always been good with 4x4s, but haven't really gone with the trend in making cars that are stylish, which would be fine ....

Sorry, I'm not with you here. I must have missed any trend towards 'stylish' cars in the last 10 to 15 years. The trend has been there, towards bulk, bling and unneeded gizmos, but I haven't noticed much what I would call Style.

Many cars these days are either 'handbag' cars (like the Fiat 500, Mini or Juke) or luxury sports saloons (like many German saloons), hence my 'stylish' tag (I'm not saying I think they're all nice looking) - the Germans in paritcular seem to be favouring styling and trim 'quality' (inside as well as out) over engineering quality.

The Japanese makes have generally favoured engineering quality first and trim/exterior less so, however Mitsubishi's interiors still seem to be stuck in the past (one model still has, according to the reviews, a DIN radio) and their cars are generally poorly receieved in terms of reviews (even on HJ) - the problem is that, other than the 4x4s off-road ability, they are poor. They have no selling point.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - gordonbennet
The Japanese makes have generally favoured engineering quality first and trim/exterior less so, however Mitsubishi's interiors still seem to be stuck in the past (one model still has, according to the reviews, a DIN radio) and their cars are generally poorly receieved in terms of reviews (even on HJ) - the problem is that, other than the 4x4s off-road ability, they are poor. They have no selling point.

Marvellous for the owner, audio dies and instead of bending over and crying, you grab a half price Sony/Pioneer in a sale and live happily ever after.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Engineer Andy
The Japanese makes have generally favoured engineering quality first and trim/exterior less so, however Mitsubishi's interiors still seem to be stuck in the past (one model still has, according to the reviews, a DIN radio) and their cars are generally poorly receieved in terms of reviews (even on HJ) - the problem is that, other than the 4x4s off-road ability, they are poor. They have no selling point.

Marvellous for the owner, audio dies and instead of bending over and crying, you grab a half price Sony/Pioneer in a sale and live happily ever after.

Maybe, but how often does the ICE go wrong on cars these days, at least on Japanese cars? I don't recall there being any reports of such problems in any car-by-car reviews I've read, or at least not enough that its worth really mentioning.

The problem with DIN audio always has been the ease at which they can be stolen (I bet thieves target cars and vans with DIN kit) and sold on without trace, unlike the built-in units that are specific to the make and model of car you own - I believe that's why car manufacturers went that way with ICE. Its the same reason why most car thefts are nowadays down to the theft of keys from homes rather than smashing/jimmying open a car window or door and trying to hotwire the car - far easier than trying to overcome the car's security features. Also why most thefts in cars are of things left lying around or in the boot (especially in vans) - built-in ICE and the vehicles themselves are just not worth the thieves' time and effort.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Big John

I had a hire Mitsubishi ASX a year ago - It drove suprisingly well and for a big bruiser of a car I was suprised it did 50+mpg(measured tank to tank)

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - SLO76
I agree it's a shame to see a once great manufacturer floundering. I used to sell them in the 90's and they were good to drive, long lasting high quality products. We regularly seen Colts return from driving schools with the guts of 200k and still driving well. The second gen Space wagon was a brilliant family wagon, lovely to drive, just enough space and mechanically bombproof. Families loved them and kept them for so long we couldn't get enough used examples to satisfy the long waiting list.

The second gen Shogun was a vastly better engineered car than the Discovery and the Galant aside from a slightly bland interior was a very pleasant big family car with some interesting engine options. The 1.8 16v went well but the 2.0 and 2.5 V6's were smooth and sounded lovely at full chat. The final model in 97 was a step up but strayed too close in price to BMW and suffered. Though the estate was a handy thing.

But even back in the haydays the firm was losing money on car sales hand over fist. It was only the finance arm through Mitsubishi bank that kept it afloat. They changed direction and we could see the rot setting in with the poorly named Carisma in 96. It wasn't a bad car but the quality had taken a step back in the name of profit and volume. The intention had been to persue fleet sales with it and discounting took root where once the cars sold on quality over price.

The third gen Space wagon arrived and no one wanted it. It was much bigger, not as well made and downright ugly. The boxy Colt which shared underpinnings with the Smart ForFour was cheaply made though mechanically robust and the Mirage replacement is third world trash unfit for the UK market.

The firm I used to work for gave the franchise up around ten years ago. By then the only good car in the range was the Shogun and sales were limited to farmers and firms wanting an old fashioned ladder chassis heavy 4wd. The Lancer had to be sold at throw away prices and the profit margin on the entry level Colt was next to nothing. They now sell used cars only.

Edited by SLO76 on 28/05/2017 at 09:22

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - daveyK_UK
The current Mitsubishi Mirage is a horrific thing and anyone who pays over £5k for a new one has been ripped off.

I agree with some other posts, the Charisma was a decent car.

As was the lancer that replaced it especially in estate form.

Mitsubishi problem is a poor dealer network and rip off part prices
Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - focussed

I had a look at Mitsubishi Motors UK accounts (AKA The Colt Car Company Limited)

Without boring everybody to death with all the financials - one figure stood out.

Return on capital employed (ROCE) year ended 31-03-15 = 83.4 %

ditto 31-03-16 92.8 %

(These figures are before tax)

That's not a bad rate of return that is!

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - SLO76

I had a look at Mitsubishi Motors UK accounts (AKA The Colt Car Company Limited)

Without boring everybody to death with all the financials - one figure stood out.

Return on capital employed (ROCE) year ended 31-03-15 = 83.4 %

ditto 31-03-16 92.8 %

(These figures are before tax)

That's not a bad rate of return that is!

No idea about the importer (which these numbers relate to) but those figures look odd to me. The actual manufacturer Mitsubishi motors itself was loss making for a long time and Importers tend to work of very slim single figure percentage margins as do dealers. I'd need to see the full accounts breakdown to understand the figures you've posted.
Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - focussed

"I'd need to see the full accounts breakdown to understand the figures you've posted."

Help yourself, it's all in the public domain.

beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01163954/filing...y

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - SLO76
It is just the UK importer and from what I'm seeing they turned over £622.5m and made a profit of around £36m so that gives them an overall margin of just 5.7% and that's including parts sales which attract a higher margin than car sales. Far better than Mitsubishi motors themselves though with massive losses. www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/09/business/corp...U

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Manatee

No idea about the importer (which these numbers relate to) but those figures look odd to me. The actual manufacturer Mitsubishi motors itself was loss making for a long time and Importers tend to work of very slim single figure percentage margins

A percentage is one number divided by another. In this case the numerator is the profit, and the denominator is the capital. I expect the explanation is not high profit but low capital requirement.

What would be more informative is the importer's profit per unit.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Engineer Andy
I agree it's a shame to see a once great manufacturer floundering. I used to sell them in the 90's and they were good to drive, long lasting high quality products. We regularly seen Colts return from driving schools with the guts of 200k and still driving well. The second gen Space wagon was a brilliant family wagon, lovely to drive, just enough space and mechanically bombproof. Families loved them and kept them for so long we couldn't get enough used examples to satisfy the long waiting list. The second gen Shogun was a vastly better engineered car than the Discovery and the Galant aside from a slightly bland interior was a very pleasant big family car with some interesting engine options. The 1.8 16v went well but the 2.0 and 2.5 V6's were smooth and sounded lovely at full chat. The final model in 97 was a step up but strayed too close in price to BMW and suffered. Though the estate was a handy thing. But even back in the haydays the firm was losing money on car sales hand over fist. It was only the finance arm through Mitsubishi bank that kept it afloat. They changed direction and we could see the rot setting in with the poorly named Carisma in 96. It wasn't a bad car but the quality had taken a step back in the name of profit and volume. The intention had been to persue fleet sales with it and discounting took root where once the cars sold on quality over price. The third gen Space wagon arrived and no one wanted it. It was much bigger, not as well made and downright ugly. The boxy Colt which shared underpinnings with the Smart ForFour was cheaply made though mechanically robust and the Mirage replacement is third world trash unfit for the UK market. The firm I used to work for gave the franchise up around ten years ago. By then the only good car in the range was the Shogun and sales were limited to farmers and firms wanting an old fashioned ladder chassis heavy 4wd. The Lancer had to be sold at throw away prices and the profit margin on the entry level Colt was next to nothing. They now sell used cars only.

Before the negative publicity I mentioned about them (somewhere - possibly only the UK - not sure), I had considered buying a Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 or 1.6 GLXi (92-96 model) for my first car (in the end I plumped for a newer 2nd hand Micra as the Colt was quite expensive in comparison [especially to insure, even for the bottom-of-the-range 1.3 model] and the nearest dealer was quite a way away from my home), which, with the Galant of the same era, seemed to be well-regarded at the time. The range-topping 1.8 GTi was supposed to be really good (way out of my price range at the time though).

At the time, I went for a test drive in the 1.6 Colt which was quite spritely (0-60 in 10 sec and was a 16v engine), decent handling and was nice looking too. If it weren't for the lack of local dealers and expensive insurance/parts, I might've got one. It was a sort of equivalent to the Honda Civic 3dr of 2001-05, which I also considered before getting my current Mazda3.

What I found to be a shame was that Mitsubishi sold the specs to the early-mid 90s Colt and Lancer to Proton, then replaced both with 2 generations of poorer cars (including the Carisma), Proton themselves running both into the ground too and eventually disappearing from our roads.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - SLO76
"What I found to be a shame was that Mitsubishi sold the specs to the early-mid 90s Colt and Lancer to Proton, then replaced both with 2 generations of poorer cars (including the Carisma), Proton themselves running both into the ground too and eventually disappearing from our roads."

The Proton Persona and Compact were very good little cars and yes I'd say they were better made than the Colt and Carisma of the same vintage but they didn't drive quite as well as the Mitsubishi's they were based on. Steering feel was all wrong (totally numb and overlight) and the ride was a bit too firm but they were genuinely good cars and built to last. It's a shame they got too greedy. We were heavily discouraged from selling base spec cars and were pushed and rewarded for effectively starting the range at the 1.5 GLSi spec which was no bargain compared to slower depreciating more modern rivals. By this stage Mitsubishi were desperate for money and would've flogged anything they could. Thus the deals with PSA, Proton, Mercedes (Smart) and Volvo.

Edited by SLO76 on 29/05/2017 at 00:18

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Manatee

I assume the question means you don't want a Mitsubishi so you don't think anbody else will.

I'm on my second Outlander. I want a car with decent elbow, head and legroom, 4 wheel drive, decent towing capacity, reasonable economy, an auto box that is not a DCT. I don't care about soft touch plastics but I do care about build quality (most people confuse the two). For now I want a diesel. I don't want a BMW, I regard them as insufficiently reliable, I have gone off Hondas, don't like Hyundais and Kias or their dealers I have seen. For now I want a diesel.

The engine in the Outlander is a 4N14, designed and made AFAIK by Mitsubishi not Nissan or Renault (or Peugeot). The gearbox is a 6 speed with torque converter made by Jatco.

This is my second Outlander. The weak point of the last model and for all I know the current one was the clutch. The new car doesn't have one:)

I have a good dealer too.

Parts of the interior look a bit retro but nothing has fallen off. So far, so good.

Edited by Manatee on 28/05/2017 at 22:45

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Falkirk Bairn

The first Mitsubishis I came across seemed to be well built mechanicals but the bodywork was not the best - that was the early 80s.

I looked at buying a Galant in the early nineties - not a beauty but seemed well built & good value. They had several other cars which seemed to be well built & they had sold the earlier models on to Hyundai, Kia, Proton who put their stamp on the proven mechanicals.

Look at them now - the Shogun sells small volume, the Outlander sells volumes in PHEV, ASX has some attraction.. The rest of the offerings look weaker - 3rd world cars both in design & poor manufacturing.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Manatee

The ASX is essentially the same car as the Outlander, minus some space and a couple of seats. Same wheelbase and mechanicals mostly.

I think the dealer I use, in a very rural area, sells more L200s than anything else.

I assume the "third world cars" you mention is the Mirage. I've only driven the similar Colts that my dealer uses as service loan cars. They have all been round the clock and seem no worse to me than other dodgems of their kind apart from the three cylinder ones that have the horrid thrum like a Citroen C1. I think all the Mirages are 3 cylinder now so I'd be quite interested to try one. I think they were off the market for a year or so but reappeared with an update for 2017.

The Mirage itself has a better NCAP rating than the Fiat 500, another third world car?

They are what they are.

A friend of mine ran two Galants for his business in the 90s. They seemed indestructible and went to very high mileages.

Edited by Manatee on 29/05/2017 at 00:40

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Avant

This is all about having a USDP - or not.

There's never been a convincing reason to buy a Mirage or ASX, and the Shogun seems to have fallen behind the competition. But the Outlander is competent, as Manatee attests, and the PHEV has been - and may still be - the only plug-in hybrid large SUV. This comes at a high price (and may explain the apparently high return on capital employed mentioned above), but a lot of people want it as it has all the advantages of an SUV without either guzzling petrol or sounding like a tractor.

It'll be interesting to see whether Mitsubishi manage to enhance and improve it before the competition catches up.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - Engineer Andy

This is all about having a USDP - or not.

There's never been a convincing reason to buy a Mirage or ASX, and the Shogun seems to have fallen behind the competition. But the Outlander is competent, as Manatee attests, and the PHEV has been - and may still be - the only plug-in hybrid large SUV. This comes at a high price (and may explain the apparently high return on capital employed mentioned above), but a lot of people want it as it has all the advantages of an SUV without either guzzling petrol or sounding like a tractor.

It'll be interesting to see whether Mitsubishi manage to enhance and improve it before the competition catches up.

The Outlander PHEV may have its merits, but its real mpg is one of the worst performing (relative to its claimed mpg) on HJ's Real MPG section - 48% average, and that's using it on ordinary roads. 45mpg minimum (real), I suppose, is not bad for such a large vehicle, but reading the review it loses the 6th and 7th seats of the standard car (presumably to accommodate the batteries), so its surely better, and far cheaper to buy the diesel-powered standard car than the PHEV for country/off road use, and petrol hybrid estates for larger families living in urban areas.

Mitsubishi - What's the point in Mitsubishi these days? - daveyK_UK
The Mirage is a considerably worse car than the Colt it replaced.
 

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