Earlier this week Suzuki announced plans to discontinue sales in the U.S. after three decades, due to slipping sales. Suzuki's departure now puts attention on Mitsubishi, which is now the Japanese automaker with the fewest US sales. In response to Suzuki's announcement, Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko told the Automotive News that the automaker has no plans to leave the US market.
"We have no intention whatsoever of withdrawing from the U.S. market. The U.S. market is a very important market."
Through October, Mitsubishi's sales are down 29 percent compared to the same period last year. Mitsubishi claims that its sales are off due to the discontinuation of the Eclipse, Galant and Endeavor models. Masuko expects sales to increase next year with the introduction of an all-new Outlander, which will arrive next summer. Mitsubishi also plans to ramp up production at its Normal, Illinois plant that currently produces the Outlander Sport.
Mitsubishi also recently named Gayu Uesugi, executive vice president and board member of Mitsubishi Motors, as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors North America. Uesugi is tasked with developing a profitable product plan, growth strategy and manufacturing blueprint for the U.S. market.
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