Japanese firm wants to make a replacement for its heavy-duty SUV – but says it hasn't yet made the business case add up
Mitsubishi is still planning a new generation of its long-running Shogun off-roader but won’t commit to its development until it can be sure that it will be profitable.
The heavy-duty seven-seat 4×4, known as the Pajero in some markets, is one of the firm’s longest-running models, dating back to 1982. The current, fourth-generation model dates from 2006 – and is heavily based on the previous generation that was launched in 1999. A replacement has been planned within the firm for years.
While tightening emissions and safety regulations mean that the current Shogun has a limited shelf life, Mitsubishi has struggled to balance the high cost of developing a hardcore off-roader with the limited market for such vehicles.
Trevor Mann, Mitsubishi’s chief operating officer, said the firm “has a passion” to produce a new Shogun but that “we’ve not defined our position yet”.
He added: “It’s something that our engineers really want to do, but we’ve got to make sure we have the right business case, and that segment is naturally shrinking due to emissions regulations. We need to make sure that when we do something, we do it properly and it’s future-proofed.”
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is beginning to implement shared platforms across its brands, and that would help to spread the development costs, but neither Renault nor Nissan currently makes a comparable off-road vehicle that would utilise a similar platform.
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