A man passing between Mitsubishi Motors Corp's vehicles is reflected on a mirror outside the company headquarters in Tokyo December 3, 2009. Top management at the Mitsubishi group are open to PSA Peugeot Citroen's taking a more than 50 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp, if conditions are right, the Nikkei business daily said in its evening edition on Thursday. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN TRANSPORT EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTXRE73
Japanese automotive brand Mitsubishi will launch a mid-market sports utility vehicle Eclipse in 2020, hoping to gain volumes in the fast expanding segment.
The Eclipse is one of the first models to be developed by the Renault-Nissan alliance which Mitsubishi became a part of in 2016 when Nissan bought a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi.
Development work of the Eclipse is going on and the product should be in the market in 2020 said a senior official from Hindustan Motors Finance Corporation (HMFCL), the manufacturer and importer of Mitsubishi range of models in India.
"The Eclipse is mainly sold in the US market (presently). All the norms such as the emission norms and crash test norms are not a problem. But speed alert and OBD-II needs to be incorporated. It will compete against the Jeep Compass and the targeted year would be 2020," said Uttam Bose, Managing Director, HMFCL.
The Jeep Compass manufactured by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had become a runaway hit in India upon launch last year. The mid-size SUV which was priced at Rs 14.95 lakh has seen average monthly volumes of around 2000 units. The Eclipse will also compete against the Mahindra XUV500
Bose also mentioned about the possibility of getting the Expander to India however a final call is yet to be taken on it since it involves upgrading of the SUV's engine to Bharat Stage VI standard.
Furthermore, decision is yet to be made on choosing of the manufacturing site for the Eclipse as there is a possibility of the vehicle getting made at the Renault-Nissan's plant based in Chennai since there will be commonalities between models of each of the company.
"All things could be evaluated. There are lots of advantages if it is in their manufacturing plant because the entire line up of vendors research and development is all based there. It is a ready made made thing. But when it comes to distribution it is us”, Bose added.
Mitsubishi has struggled to succeed in India especially after a significantly reduced product portfolio compared to its competition. Over the years the company exited the car segment with the phase out low volume products such as the Lancer and Evo.
The Renault Nissan combine will hold a global distributor meet in November which will discuss about the way forward for Mitsubishi in India.
Today's launch of the fourth generation Mitsubishi Outlander was a new product launch by the company after a gap of 8 years in India. The company is India sells three models – Pajero Sport, Montero and Outlander. The Pajero Sport is the only model to be locally assembled in India while the other two are imported.
Possibilities of the Outlander being assembled in India will be explored in the coming months depending on its demand, said Bose. Sales of the company last financial year was 850 while it 6-was 1500 in 2016-17. Demonetisation and the Supreme Court ban on diesel cars impacted company volumes.
Mitsubishi hopes to sell 250-300 units of the Outlander by end of the financial year. It is also working on increasing its dealership[ footprint to 45 by end of the year from 38 presently.