@ Lindsay. There seems to be some confusion surrounding the quality that Mitsubishi is now planning to manufacture. Earlier reports said that they were upping the capacity to 4000 from 2000 in September which is the only way I figure they can possibly deliver 7000 to The Netherlands before the end of the year as well as fulfil all their other commitments. These recent reports indicate that they won’t be expanding production to 4000 per month until next May. I wonder if anybody on this forum knows which is correct.
@ Marta The Netherlands not Norway. There is a lot of interest in Norway but Mitsubishi only opened their order book in The Netherlands – last December – and nowhere else outside Japan as far as I know.
@ boyelectric. I believe that Mitsubishi can keep the Outlander PHEV production line at full capacity without even touching the USA market. According to this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry
Mitsubishi ranks 16th in the world. When you are not a major manufacturer like GM or Ford but a small scale manufacturer, like Land Rover, it’s more important to create a niche for yourself than to start worrying about what the big boys are doing.
Another problem in selling into the USA is its size! It’s a huge country no matter how you measure it. It’s much easier to selectively introduce a product into Europe because it is made up of more than 30 countries. Mitsubishi has started by only introducing the Outlander PHEV into The Netherlands, where until recently they were manufacturing the Outlander, and no other European country; and already they are drowning in orders. The Netherlands is a country that is similar in size to Florida.
You also need to take account of the litigation culture that exists in the USA. This makes the risk for non-American companies in introducing a new technology into the USA much higher than for other countries. Do you remember what happened to Audi many years ago?. When faced with the allure of a fat pay-out from a class action suit the number of confused and accident prone Audi drivers in the USA increased dramatically. The fact that nobody in the rest of the world driving an identical car ever experienced the same problems, which were never proved to exist, didn't count for one cent. Audi suffered a huge loss as a result of that manufactured hysteria.
It’s very dangerous for a non-American company to market their products in the USA. If I was Mitsubishi I would be steering well clear of selling the Outlander PHEV in the USA until I was 100% sure that there aren't any quirks, such as might result from column-mounted electrical regeneration controls, that give the USA class action lawyers a litigation opening. It only takes one zealous US lawyer to blow a small incident out of proportion and a company the size of Mitsubishi can find itself in financial trouble for a market that represents less than 10 per cent of their total business. I can just see the news story now.
“Class action suit against Mitsubishi.
Class action lawyers Scroojoo and Buggeroff filed a class action suit against Mitsubishi claiming that drivers were confused by the column mounted regeneration lever, believing it to be the gear shifter. They are requesting that all Outlander PHEV owners who have had or are planning to have an accident contact them so that they can learn about their unscrupulous ways for extorting money out of large corporations.”
I just did a bit of surfing.
Take a look at page 16 of this Mitsubishi 2013 financial report published last April.
http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/conten ... 0425-3.pdf
Do you see any mention of Mitsubishi selling the Outlander PHEV in the USA as one of their goals? I don’t.
Take a look at the market size of the USA as compared to other markets Mitsubishi is established in( Pages 3 & 7). The USA doesn't figure prominently does it?
And Mitsubishi isn't alone in giving the USA a wide birth. Take Renault as an example. They produce as many vehicles worldwide as Honda, their engines have powered the Formula One race cars for years but they don’t market their motor vehicles in the USA. Our family has been exclusively Renault for years. .. and when my American colleagues ask me why Renault don’t sell their cars in the USA, I answer, “probably because they are too smart to make a mistake like that”
I doubt very much if Mitsubishi rates having a foothold, for their PHEV in the North American continent, as a major objective in the short or near term.
Just my two cents.