Mitsubishi EX Concept TMS-14

Mitsubishi eX Concept.

In a recent interview with Automotive News, Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuka conveyed that the Japanese automaker will be refocusing its efforts towards offering a smaller, SUV-dominant line-up in the United States.

It’s new charge in the US will be led by the arrival of three new SUVs that will debut over the next five years. Prior to this, the company also confirmed that it will finally launch its current-gen Outlander PHEV there come mid-2016.

The introduction of the three new models kicks-off with a brand-new coupe-styled SUV that is said to fill a gap between the Outlander and Outlander Sport (the equivalent of the ASX in Malaysia). The new SUV is expected to be available in the US by the fourth quarter of 2017.

The next-generation Outlander itself is set to appear sometime in 2018, followed by a new Outlander Sport as well. Interestingly, while the new coupe SUV and the Outlander will be available as plug-in hybrid and regular petrol-powered models, the Outlander Sport that arrives in 2019 is said to offer a full-electric variant, alongside a petrol-powered one. Could a production model have been previewed by the recent Mitsubishi eX Concept?

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

Masuko told the publication that “we are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the US market.” The CEO went on to say that it will be allocating more of its resources to support that philosophy. Naturally, this also means that it will be scaling down the development of its sedans.

Citing the lack of resources to pursue a successor for the Mitsubishi Lancer, Masuko also said that Mitsubishi’s attempt to strike a deal with Renault to possibly supply it with a sedan has not succeeded. The CEO confirmed that there are no other talks between its company and any other carmaker at the moment.

Mitsubishi is still on track to launch its new Mirage compact hatch and its equivalent sedan model (known to us as the Attrage) in the US by the second quarter of 2016.