Mitsubishi pulls the Normal plug

The headline says “maybe” but the followup says it’s a done deal. The conjecture is over whether or not they will quit the US market entirely or continue importing those cars that are made in Asia for other markets. My daughter had a couple of Eagle Talons way back. They were an Eclipse clone sold by Chrysler dealers. I always thought they were decent cars. Since Fiat owns a chunk of Chryco now, that’s another reason Mitsubishi may leave the US market.

When I heard about Mitsubihsi’s apology to WW II American slave laborers, I wondered if there would soon be other announcements that would affect the USA. Guess so.

I’m not surprised because I vaguely recall reading an article a couple of years ago stating that Mitsubishi’s market share of car sales was well under 1%.

My daughter had a '91 Mitsubishi Eclipse and it was a great little car that would tick off 35 MPG with the A/C running and the car loaded down.

The apology is a day late and a dollar short as many of those men and possibly women are no longer with us and I would suspect that an apology 70 years after the fact may not mean much to the few remaining.
My late father was ex-Navy WWII and a Mitsubishi Zero almost took him out in a kamikaze attack. I always wondered if that was just an old fuzzy war story but it was verified true. Missed him by about 40 meters before hitting the ocean.

MY handle is from the '95 Galant we had. It had a blown transmission at 100K miles in 2000 when I bought it. I believe the previous owner had not done much transmission maintenance. I put in a junkyard transmission in it and we drove it to 170K miles but at that point was burning too much oil. I think the truck driver that was transporting it for us raced it and damaged the engine. The car was decent, good handling for the class. The only problem was that the dealers were closing one by one and towards the end I could only buy parts online and wait for it to arrive in the mail

Well I was happy to finally see the apology I had been waiting for even though most of the guys are 90 years old or dead. I still thought it was important to acknowledge and my ban on Mitsi might have been softened a little. Now though, they’ve been on life support here for a while so I don’t think I’d buy anyway.

It is unfortunate for the community of Normal Illinois to loose this automobile factory. I have worked on many vehicles that came out of the Normal Illinois plant, they were above average in quality in the early ninety’s compared to a Shadow/Sundance, Caviler or Escort. They don’t seen to be able to compete today. There is much competition in the under $20,000 market.

Chrysler divorced themselves from Mitsubishi long before Fiat came into the picture. The Plymouth Laser, Eagle Talon and Mitsubishi Eclipse were manufactured by Diamond Star Motors, a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi. After Chrysler sold it’s share in the company the name was changed to Mitsubishi Motors Manufacturing America in 1995. Mitsubishi continued to supply Chrysler with sport coupes until the end of the 2005 model year.

When people will truly believe"all men are created equal…" perhaps there will be less need for these,so called apologies.

Mitsubishi is alive and well elsewhere in the world. The North American market happens to be the world’s most competitive and focused on larger vehicles.

You will see small Mitsubishi trucks nearly everywhere.

Fuso and Isuzu complete in several places.

"Mitsubishi is alive and well elsewhere in the world. The North American market happens to be the world’s most competitive and focused on larger vehicles. "

However, that reality makes it even more puzzling that they are selling the Mirage–that was designed for third world countries–in the US. That vehicle costs more than a Nissan Versa or a Chevy Spark, both of which are in the same size class, but are better cars–by far.

When CR tested the Mirage, they said that the handling of this small car was atrocious, it accelerated poorly, the ride quality was bad, the seats were torturous, and the interior noise level was the highest that they have recorded for a car recently. Its only saving grace was good fuel economy.

That car is probably acceptable in a third-world country, but for Mitsubishi to think that this car is competitive in the US marketplace is nothing short of…bizarre.

The losses they incur in NA are small change for such a large company. Maybe that is why it has taken so long for them to get around to shutting down the factory. That is not necessarily good business sense, but it might indicate some compassion for the workers and management at the factory.

The Diamante and Gallant were great cars in 94 but the Diamante was discontinued rather than redesigned and the next generation Gallant was inferior the the 94 and then never redesigned.
I leased a 94 Gallant and it was a great car. It had a double wishbone front suspension and was the first car I owner that was braver than I was on the curves.

Its no wonder, There are Gallants running all over Bloomington/Normal Illinois but nowhere else.
Mitsubishi is a huge company but they pour very little money into the vehicles.

On the bright side,
several years ago I had to inspect a prototype Mitsubishi at the Normal IL factory that plowed a deer. This was during the time (early 2000’s) that MIT was threatening a pull out form the USA. I asked about the future of the factory and the rep I was dealing with said after that announcement reps from several vehicle makes were at their location the next day.
At that time is was a very modern, high tech place.

I think the Outlander was the 1st in its class to get the good rating for offset front crashes. It has a CVT transmission, reliability has not been that bad, doesn’t seem to sell.