One of the largest Japanese manufacturers, Mitsubishi is mulling over to launch small car in the Indian market very soon. Mainly, the name of Mitsubishi is connected with sporty cars Cedia, Outlander, Pajero and Lance Evo X but nowadays, they are showing interest in launching small cars.
Mitsubishi’s small car being developed in Thailand, part of the Thai eco car project will hit the Indian shores in next 2-3 years. The engine of the car may be redesign by the Japanese car maker in order to bring the car to Indian roads. The car will give challenge to Hyundai i20, Fiat Grande Punto, Maruti Ritz, Volkswagen Polo, Maruti Swift and Nissan Micra. These all cars are belonging to the B+ segment which is growing at the most rapid rate as compared to the other segments.
As per the reports, Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporations have together invested for the upcoming Bht 8 billion-eco-car investment project. The production of the car is expected to start by September 2011. Mitsubishi is supposed to launch its first eco-car in the market in March 2012. Both the BoI from Thailand and Mitsubishi Motors have agreed to go by the project as scheduled. An official at Mitsubishi Motors said, “This is the first meeting between the BoI and the executives of Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporations to confirm Mitsubishi’s eco-car investment project in Thailand. It is also a great opportunity for both BoI and Mitsubishi to discuss about the investment project in details”.
Currently, the Company has models like Outlander and Lancer in its Indian product portfolio. By commenting to the car, the head-Marketing, HM-Mitsubishi, Pritam Saikia, said, “Although India is an emerging market for Mitsubishi, it is too premature to comment on our future product plans, including the small car. Having said that, all our expansion plans are on track and we will take a call on our small car plans at a later point of time”.
In the year 1998, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation stepped into the Indian market by making Hindustan Motors as its partner. The Mitsubishi Lancer was the first car launched by this JV in the country and received a great success. The next car was Mitsubishi Outlander, which didn’t work as per the company’s expectation. Mitsubishi’s Pajero is one of the most trusted SUV in India. Now, they are raising their hope once again with their small car in India.
One of the company officials said, “We can no longer afford to ignore the Indian market. We cannot have a foot-hold in India if we do not have a presence in the small car segment. So, this is not just going to be a logical extension for us but a very crucial one, too. We are exploring ways to tune the ‘eco car’ we are building in Thailand for India,” The market is becoming more and more competitive and we cannot wait for more hatchbacks entering the market.
Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors dominates Mitsubishi which is one of the several international automotive companies to be adversely impacted by the global downturn, is not so keen to enter the high volume, small car segment (Rs 2.8-3.9 lakh). A new car from scratch is being built by Mitsubishi. From 2012, this car would see mass production to the tune of 200,000 units per year. About 70 per cent of the plant’s output will be for markets outside Thailand. Mitsubishi is planning to increase its manufacturing capacity to 100,000 units per annum from 12,000 units presently. It initially had plans to have a ‘world car’ from India, serving other emerging markets worldwide.