Mitsubishi may be thinking about bringing a pickup to North America.
Mitsubishi will be focusing on electrification to try and get back to a place of sustainability and profitability. The success of the Outlander PHEV brought back hope to Mitsu and now the brand is turning its attention to other segments including possibly a pickup.
Wards Auto had a chat with Mark Chaffin, chief operating officer-Mitsubishi Motors North America, where he outlined that they like to add a pickup to their lineup which currently consists of the Outlander, RVR, Eclipse Cross and Mirage. When we spoke with Mitsubishi back in February, they confirmed a 7-vehicle global strategy, but they believed the pickup segment was too crowded and competitive to try and get in short term.
Mitsubishi is no stranger to pickups with a long history of building reliable compact workhorses. Some of you might remember the Dodge RAM 50 which was a rebadged Mitsubishi Triton/L200. The newest member of the Renault-Nissan Alliance has been thinking about returning a truck for North America for a long while – some ten years ago, Mitsubishi loaned me an L200/Triton for week-long test.
The L200 review coincided with the end of the Mitsubishi Raider, aka a rebadged Dodge Dakota from the era. If you’re a truck fan, this one will be a rarity, much like the Suzuki Equator, which itself was badge-engineered Nissan Frontier.
And now we’ve come full circle. Mitsubishi will reportedly look to the Nissan and its next-generation Frontier in order to market their own pickup for North America. The next Frontier is not expected before 2021 which would typically mean that the Mits will arrive shortly after. This same new Frontier bones will underpin the future Nissan Navara, the Renault Alaskan as well as the Mercedes X-Class.
Odds are that this family of trucks will be an impressive one. However, we tend to agree with what Mitsubishi told us this winter. The mid-size pickup segment is a little too crowded right now to spend time and ressources getting a new model noticed.