The next Mitsubishi Shogun will remain true to the vehicle’s original positioning as an authentic off-roader, company chiefs have confirmed.
Indeed, the next generation of Mitsubishi’s utilitarian 4x4, which is expected to arrive in 2017, is likely to be positioned as a less-expensive alternative to the Land Rover Discovery and will incorporate Mitsubishi’s increasingly popular plug-in hybrid technology.
The basis of the current Shogun is 15 years old, although the vehicle underwent a significant revamp in 2006, and its replacement has been the subject of much internal deliberation. The Mitsubishi GC-PHEV concept car shown at the 2014 Geneva motor show was a preview of the replacement vehicle.
Mitsubishi markets around the globe recently assessed 4x4s and crossovers made by other car makers in order to define what a true Mitsubishi should be. In the case of the Shogun, it was decided that it must stay true to current values.
Lance Bradley, boss of Mitsubishi Motors UK, said: “A lot of the rivals are more beautiful or more refined but the Shogun needs to be an authentic off-roader: not fancy, not a school-run car but for people who tow horse boxes or actually go off-road.
“Of course, that market is limited, but look at the Discovery - there is room for vehicles with utility at their heart. The Discovery is very good but very expensive and we see an opportunity in providing a less-expensive alternative in terms of pricing and running costs, particularly with our plug-in hybrid technology.”
“There are other car makers looking to slot in below Land Rover but they all have a broad range of cars," he said. "We are SUV-biased, and that gives us a core focus and reputation the likes of Nissan don't have. The customer has to understand why you are selling a particular car - anything 4x4 will get instant acceptance from our customers.”
Sales of the outgoing Shogun have surged by 66%, which Mitsubishi credits to greater awareness of the brand off the back of the success of the Outlander PHEV.
“The Outlander PHEV has already proved that if the product is good enough you can change people’s perceptions of our brand, and we expect to make ground in the same way with the Shogun,” said Bradley.
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