Mitsubishi to exit UK, EU markets
Mitsubishi is withdrawing from the UK and Europe, confirming it will not bring any new models to the continent. Stocks of existing models, including the popular Outlander PHEV and L200 pick-up, will continue to be sold until they no longer meet emissions regulations. Aftersales support will be provided by existing dealers and the Colt Car Company, which imports Mitsubishi vehicles to the UK.
A statement provided by the company said: “The Colt Car Company has just learned that Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has frozen the development and introduction of new models for Europe, including the UK.
“We will continue to sell the existing range of Mitsubishi vehicles and to provide full customer support in terms of service, repair, warranty, recalls, parts and accessories. We will provide updates when we know more.”
The Cirencester-based Colt Car Company said that it would attempt to accelerate its plan to bring other emerging brands into the UK to replace the space left vacant by Mitsubishi.
In a letter to its dealers, the Colt Car Company said that it “did not, at any point, anticipate receiving this news”.
The planned introduction of the new Eclipse Cross plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the next-generation Outlander PHEV will not happen.
Last month, Mitsubishi’s Alliance partners Renault and Nissan both announced details of global efforts to cut costs and improve efficiencies across their manufacturing operations.
In Mitsubishi Motor Corporation’s (MMC) announcement, it said that it had no choice but to reduce its fixed costs by 20 per cent and focus on investment in core markets where it sees potential.
The OEM stated that its current profitability in Europe was at its lowest ever level at a time when it faces the cost of meeting increasingly challenging environmental regulations.
In a report detailing its Q1 financial performance, MMC reported a loss of 176.16bn yen (over £1.3bn) for the period, down from against a 9.31bn yen (£68.7m) a year earlier.
This resulted in an operating loss of 53.34bn yen (£393.6m). In Q1 last year MMC recorded a profit of 3.86bn yen (£28.5m).
Last month the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) monthly car registrations data revealed that Mitsubishi’s UK sales had declined by 51.9 per cent to 4,708 (H1 2019: 9,784) during the COVID-19 pandemic-impacted first half of 2020.