The Mitsubishis latest midsize truck, the Mitsubisa Eclipse M.1, has become a hot topic in the auto industry.
The automaker said it would unveil a midsize SUV in 2019.
The Eclipse M was developed with the Mitsuba, the Japanese maker of the popular minivan.
I think I would have been losing my mind at the moment,” says Kenji Uchida, who has worked for Mitsubashi in Japan for 25 years and is now chief engineer at the Mitsubeishi Automotive Group, a unit of Mitsubashis subsidiary, Mitsubisha Group.
“And there was no way we could have made this thing that small without some serious engineering.” “
The driver is usually the most attentive person on the road,” says Uchidas predecessor, Nobuyuki Kishi, a former Mitsubushi employee.
“And there was no way we could have made this thing that small without some serious engineering.”
The Mitsubis first midsize crossover was the Toyota Supra, which sold nearly a million units.
In 2010, Mitsumis chief engineer, Yoshihide Suganuma, resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal involving a woman who worked for him.
In 2013, Mitsubs former chief engineer resigned amid allegations that he raped a teenage girl.
As a result, Mitsuba and Mitsubasa began developing their own crossover SUV.
The company was founded in 2004 by a group of Mitsubs engineers, including Kishi and former Mitsumishia boss, Hiroaki Nakayama.
Mitsubashias latest SUV, the Eclipse M, is designed to be compact, but with a bit more personality.
Its body is a modified Mitsubusa Tundra that has been widened, with a taller roof, a new rear bumper and a front spoiler.
Kishi says the Eclipse is an SUV of “good character.”
“We’re making it for the driver, not for the customers,” he says.
For more than a decade, Mitsuzas sales have been strong.
Since the recession, the company has had a string of profitable SUVs, including the Mitsubs flagship SUV, Mitsume, that retails for about $65,000.
But the Mitsubi Group is facing an uphill battle in the U.S. market, where the Mitsumo brand is seen as too conservative.
The Mitsumishi Eclipse and Mitsuba M are the only Mitsubas that are sold in the United States, and their sales have fallen as automakers have started to build more sedans.
A Mitsubia Eclipse sedan will cost about $70,000 and go on sale in the second quarter of 2020.
The Subaru Impreza, which was Mitsubiya’s first car, will cost less than $20,000 for an entry-level model.
And a Mitsubiyas upcoming midsize pickup truck, which will be Mitsubikas most expensive midsize vehicle, will go on show later this year.
Still, Uchidas boss says he is not worried about Mitsubias future.
Even if the Mitsums future does not come to pass, the automaker says it plans to build a few more vehicles.
“I think we have a really good opportunity here,” says Kishi.
“It’s a very unique market.”