Mitsubishi to leave UK

Mitsubishi to leave UK

As we went to press, the retail motor trade was dealing with the unexpected news that the Mitsubishi brand’s time on the UK market looks to be limited.

Following a board meeting of the parent Mitsubishi Motors Corporation on July 27, it was announced that the brand intends to cease development of new models for the European market. This naturally means that when the current range can no longer meet EU standards, imports will be discontinued.

Despite the UK having left the EU, this means that the brand is set to disappear from the UK market, where Mitsubishi vehicles have been imported since the early 1970s by the Colt Car Company, based in the Gloucestershire town of Cirencester. Sales in the early years were restricted by import quotas, later eased by the import of the Dutch-made Carisma but into the 2000s, the brand’s appeal was boosted by the popularity of double-cab pickups as company vehicles as well as the Shogun which offered Land Rover capability without the price tag. Meanwhile, the Lancer Evo had gained a strong enthusiast following as a high-tech Impreza challenger.

The future for the UK franchised dealer network looks uncertain, although Mitsubishi UK’s managing director has hinted that the firm was already in discussions with brands currently not represented on the UK market. We’re assuming that means the likes of the many young Chinese electrified vehicle brands, but although the Colt Car Company is a separate corporate entity from the car maker itself, it became wholly owned by Mitsubishi in 2008.

As the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance implements savage cost-cutting to survive following the twin challenges of Carlos Ghosn’s arrest and the Covid pandemic, it looks likely that investment in the Mitsubishi brand will be concentrated on the Oceania and Asian markets.

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