Should Mitsubishi bring back the Mirage, a compact vehicle last seen on roads stateside a decade ago? If you’re unsure, you’re not alone, as the execs over at Mitsubishi’s American headquarters are contemplating the same thing right now. Mitsubishi has already decided it will begin selling the Mirage north of the border in the summer of next year but that may not bode well for the U.S.
According to Automotive News, money is tight with the Japanese automaker, and with the release of the new Outlander slated for next summer, the smaller Mirage is expected to take a back-seat marketing-wise between the two vehicles. The question still remains though: Why would Mitsubishi want to hold off on introducing a new product after 2011 saw the death of the Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, and Endeavor, three staples to its lineup? Budgeting concerns can be pointed to as launching new vehicles too close together can dry funds up quickly.
“Our concern from a timing standpoint is that with the Outlander coming out next year, not too far from a possible launch of the [Mirage], we have to really think about resources,” Mitsubishi spokesman Roger Yasukawa said to Automotive News. “It’s still 50-50 right now,” Yasukawa said.
Funding the launch of two new vehicles may not be Mitsubishi’s only concern either. The Mirage itself could come with questions and that may doom it from the start. Built to be an affordable and competent form of transportation for the masses, the Mirage is Mitsubishi’s way of growing in developing economies like in Southeast Asia, where it’s being assembled in Thailand. The overall size of the Mirage may raise a red flag as the one launched in Thailand shares similar dimensions with the Chevrolet Spark, a subcompact hatchback, which is due out stateside this summer. This segment the Mirage would enter is also a new one in the United States, but it’s forming quickly.
“There are competitors out there that are still new and most of them have just launched or are coming out soon.” Yasukawa said to Automotive News. “It’s still a young segment that’s growing in the U.S., and we have to account for that in our decision.”