By Chris Haak
Mitsubishi has been having a tough couple of years in the US market. Last year, when the overall light-vehicle market was down 21 percent, the three-diamond company’s sales tanked more than twice as fast as the overall market, with a 45 percent drop. This year, when the rising tide is supposed to be lifting all the boats, Mitsubishi’s US sales are basically flat.
There are two bright spots in Mitsubishi’s sales figures, though: the Lancer compact sedan and the Outlander compact crossover. Not coincidentally, those two models are Mitsubishi’s freshest ones, and the company’s most competent, most normally-styled vehicles. While the aging Eclipse on pace to sell just 5,000 units in 2010, and the fleet queen Galant sedan selling at just about double that pace (and far from the pace of the sales-leading Camry), it seems that Mitsubishi needs to refresh its lineup to have any hope of increasing sales from their depressed levels back to the heady days of zero percent financing loans with no money down to unqualified buyers early in the last decade.