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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Mitsubishi teases superb ASX alternative – but it surely mightn’t come to Australia

Mitsubishi has teased what seems to be a manufacturing model of its XFC small SUV idea, although it’s removed from a lock for an Australian launch.

The teaser photos present a particular headlight meeting intently resembling final 12 months’s XFC idea, in addition to audio system for a brand new Dynamic Sound Yamaha Premium sound system, which guarantees a “premium, immersive sound expertise”.

The as-yet unnamed SUV can be revealed on the Gaikindo Indonesia motor present this August.

“The all-new compact SUV is the primary of the brand new Mitsubishi SUVs to enter the ASEAN market, one of many firm’s core enterprise areas,” the corporate says, noting it has been put by repeated testing and tuning on roads within the area.

Mitsubishi has beforehand confirmed it’ll launch the SUV within the area throughout fiscal 12 months 2023, so someday between now and February 28, 2024.

Firm president and chief govt Takao Kato additionally stated at its reveal final October it plans to “add an electrified variant to the lineup and to additionally roll it out in areas outdoors ASEAN”.

“We hope to develop the mannequin from a car for the ASEAN market to a worldwide strategic car,” he added.

Whereas it seems to be significantly extra trendy than the present 2010-vintage ASX, its ASEAN-market focus might imply it received’t provide the degrees of security, refinement or effectivity Australian consumers anticipate.

Senior executives inside Mitsubishi confirmed to Australian media earlier this 12 months the model nonetheless hasn’t determined what path it’ll take with a alternative for the ASX in Australia, or if it’ll trouble with a alternative in any respect – regardless of acknowledging the very fact even the ageless ASX “can’t final ceaselessly”.

The present ASX has been handled to a number of styling and tech updates throughout its prolonged run, however is now round 5 years past the purpose most autos would get replaced by a ground-up new automobile.

Requested if there can be a successor to the venerable ASX SUV, govt officer accountable for product at Mitsubishi Motors, Koichi Namiki, advised Australian media solely that there “could possibly be”.

Had been the ASX to be discontinued, the Eclipse Cross (or its alternative, which is coming in a minimum of some elements of the world) could be compelled to function an entry level to the Mitsubishi SUV vary regionally. At the moment, the ASX outsells it two-to-one.

Namiki-san laid two choices for a way Mitsubishi might substitute the ASX, ought to it determine to.

The primary is growing a tackle the manufacturing model of the XFC idea for the Australian market.

The second possibility is sticking the ASX badge on a car from elsewhere within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, probably the Renault Captur, as Mitsubishi has accomplished in Europe.

The Captur is at present bought in Australia, so it meets native emissions and security requirements, and it’s inbuilt right-hand drive.

The problem could be convincing Renault to construct the rebadged mannequin in adequate volumes for Australia, in addition to getting it to a value level present ASX consumers would discover palatable – or convincing them the brand new mannequin is value the additional coin.

The Captur is a basically totally different car to the present ASX, competing at a unique value level. Mitsubishi is inching upmarket with the Outlander SUV, which is greater and costlier than the automobile it replaces, and is prone to do comparable when the brand new Triton launches.

However core to the ASX’s attraction is worth. The present vary is priced between $23,990 and $34,740 earlier than on-roads, the place the Captur kicks off at $31,800 and extends to $41,300 earlier than on-roads.

Mitsubishi has additionally been burned earlier than with rebadged Renault merchandise in Australia, with the Specific – a rebadged Renault Trafic – infamously receiving a zero-star ANCAP ranking resulting from its lack of energetic security options.

Regardless which highway Mitsubishi takes ought to it determine to exchange the ASX, it’s unlikely the next-generation automobile can be in Australia any time quickly, leaving the present mannequin to soldier on within the meantime.

Namiki-san wouldn’t verify when manufacturing of the present automobile is about to finish, however did admit head workplace is “not assuming” there’ll be a niche between the automobile at present on sale and no matter replaces it in native showrooms.

Mitsubishi doesn’t at present promote the ASX in markets like Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia, although it stays on tariffs in markets like Japan (because the RVR) and North America (because the Outlander Sport).

The corporate does have one car significantly older than it, nevertheless, in Indonesia.

The Colt L300 pickup is a scarcely modernised model of the 1979 L300, bought right here in van and folks mover kind till 1986.

Mitsubishi is not any stranger to dragging out mannequin lifecycles in sure markets.

In Taiwan, for instance, the 2007-vintage Colt Plus wagon remains to be out there, whereas a reasonably comprehensively up to date model of the 2007-vintage Lancer lobbed in 2017.

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