Many manufacturers hit the news each week and this week two news stories have emerged from Japanese automakers, Mitsubishi Motors. These come in the form of an announcement that Mitsubishi have bought an ex-Ford plant and the other news is that the Evo X may be discontinued. Here's a brief overview of both news stories.
The automakers have recently bought the site of a former auto plant in the Philippines from Ford Motor Co. Mitsubishi is currently the second biggest automaker in the Philippines and with the addition of the production plant in Laguna, they hope to increase production by 50%. The new plant will have an annual capacity of 50,000 vehicles, which will gradually rise to 100,000 vehicles. As part of their new strategy, Mitsubishi will close and sell it's existing Philippine plant in Rizal.
The move by Mitsubishi Motors, maker of Triton pick up trucks and Outlander SUVs adds to growing competition amongst the global car makers in the Southeast Asia region, dominated by Toyota and other Japanese car makers. The company stated, “We are planning to prepare for future growth in the Philippines, whose auto market is likely to continue to grow sustainably.”
This generation of the Mitsubishi Evo is likely to be it's last, at least for a while. There has been no mention of when production of the current car will end but the company have announced that they will now be focusing on utility vehicles and EVs (electric vehicles).While there are no plans for a successor, the company has hinted that the door remains open for a different kind of beast.
A spokesperson for Mitsubishi commented, “Mitsubishi Motors does not have any plans to design a successor with the current concept, as a high-performance four-wheel drive gasoline-powered sedan. Mitsubishi Motors will explore the possibilities of high-performance models that incorporate electric vehicle technology.”
The end of the Evo has been whispered about for years, though it's possible a hybrid version could be seen in the future. Mitsubishi could follow in the footsteps of many manufacturers who have decided to create performance hybrids, such as the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder.
We'll keep you updated on more Mitsubishi news when it becomes available.