by Jack Rosebro
|Mitsubishi will introduce 8 xEVs by FY 2015. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) plans to introduce eight hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery-powered (BEV) models by fiscal year 2015 in anticipation that demand for low-carbon, fuel-efficient automobiles will expand worldwide.
Concurrently, the company will focus on producing new compact vehicles and SUVs in emerging markets, and will strengthen manufacturing capabilities in China, Russia, and Thailand. In Japan, MMC will collaborate with Nissan on a joint venture to build a new minicar for domestic release.
The plans are part of Mitsubishi’s “Jump 2013” strategy: the Tokyo-based automaker has set a global sales targets of 1.37 million vehicles by fiscal 2013, as compared to 1 million vehicle sold in the current fiscal year.
MMC will increase the proportion of its overseas production to 54% of total output by fiscal 2013 as compared to about 44% today. Japanese carmakers have begun to shift vehicle output overseas as a strengthening yen reduces profit on Japan-built vehicles.
Mitsubishi already sells the MiEV, an electric variant of their popular “i” kei-car, in Japan as well as Hong Kong and the UK, and plans to roll out MiEV sales to nineteen European countries starting this year (earlier post). Re-skinned variants of the MiEV will also be sold in European markets as the Peugeot iOn and the Citroen C-ZERO. The company displayed a plug-in hybrid crossover concept vehicle, called the PX-MiEV, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2009.
In the United States, Mitsubishi will begin to roll out a larger variant of the MiEV, carrying a MiEV-i moniker, as a 2012 model in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawai’i this November. The vehicle is expected to carry a MSRP of $29,995 before taxes and incentives.
During a luncheon presentation for the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association of Southern California today, Mitsubishi Motors North America representative John Nakamoto confirmed that nationwide sales of the company’s first US-spec EV would commence a year after November’s rollout in select markets.
Mitsubishi has selected Eaton as its EVSE supplier and Best Buy’s Geek Squad as its EVSE installer for the United States market.