Currently reading: Mitsubishi could restart European sales, report suggests
Agreement between three Alliance brands could lead to Mitsubishi building cars in France
Felix Page Autocar writer
2 mins read
23 February 2021

Mitsubishi is on the verge of reversing its decision to exit Europe amid mounting pressure from its Renault and Nissan partners, according to the Financial Times.

Last July, Mitsubishi halted the introduction of new models to Europe as part of a shift in focus to the more lucrative Asian market. Under its new Small but Beautiful operating strategy, the Japanese brand planned to reduce fixed costs by 20% over two years and "improve operating profit by downsizing low-profit businesses".

Now, the FT reports, Mitsubishi could shift production of some European-market models to Renault factories in France, citing internal sources at the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance with "direct knowledge of the matter". 

A preliminary agreement is said to have been reached by the three companies yesterday (22 February), with a final decision due to be made at a Mitsubishi board meeting on Thursday 25 February. The deal "may still fall apart" according to the newspaper's sources, with Alliance discussions on the matter described as "fractious". 

It's said that bosses at Mitsubishi (34% owned by Nissan, in which Renault holds a 43% stake) don't want French politics to influence the strategy of the Alliance and could now face accusations of bowing to pressure from the French government (which owns 15% of Renault) to preserve jobs. 

A Mitsubishi spokesman told Autocar the brand has no comment to offer on the speculation, but another representative later said on twitter: "We won't comment on this but I can tell you that Mitsubishi's plans to transition to an aftersales-only business before the end of the year have not changed," suggesting that while a European re-start remains possible, the UK is likely off the table. 


A UK relaunch by Mitsubishi would serve as a lifeline for its UK retail network, the Colt Car Company. Some dealerships have already begun preparing to transition to an aftersales-only offering but could now be given the opportunity to order more stock from the firm, while others - the FT says - have sold their premises. 

A market reintroduction of new Mitsubishi models raises the possibility that the all-new Outlander SUV - revealed last week - could go on sale in Europe. The plug-in hybrid version of the outgoing Outlander is still among Europe's most popular PHEV models, and the latest version could help Mitsubishi recapture ground lost to newer PHEV rivals. 


Mitsubishi freezes introduction of new models for Europe​


Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Add a comment…
ahoythere99 25 February 2021

Hopefully the Colt Car Company's HQ in Cirencester can be taken off the market (6 acre site for £12m) and many of the jobs saved....

WallMeerkat 24 February 2021
The Shogun and L200 used to be the type of 4x4s that you would be confident could tackle anything, they used to be conservatively styled. This thing just looks awful, reminds me of the Griswalds car in Vacation. It looks like they styled the front then realised it was so tall they took a mirror to the lower bumper.
WallMeerkat 24 February 2021
WallMeerkat wrote:

It looks like they styled the front then realised it was so tall they took a mirror to the lower bumper.

If that makes sense, I meant that it looks like they styled the top lights and grille then mirrored it vertically

Pietro Cavolonero 23 February 2021

That Mitsubishi is one munter of a car, the Chinese market will love it (along with the BMW design team)

Find an Autocar car review