HM-Mitsubishi announced earlier today that the company will be bringing the Pajero Sport Automatic (AT) to India in the second half of this year. The Pajero Sport AT will be equipped with a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine churning out 178 BHP of power, same as the manual variant, but will be mated to 5-speed automatic gearbox. The Pajero Sport AT is currently on sale in Thailand with the same configuration.
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport was launched back in 2012 and was brought in as a CBU to the Indian market, the company soon started getting it as a CKD assembly, knocking down the price on the capable SUV. The automatic variant will be brought down as a CKD as well and will be assembled at HM’s Tiruvallar plant in Chennai. The Pajero Sport is equipped with a host of features which include Super Select 4WD, leather seats, audio system, 17-inch alloy wheels, projector headlights and much more. In terms of safety, the car is equipped dual airbags, ABS, EBD and parking sensors.
Mitsubishi also announced that the company is working on a ‘New Stage 2016’ global mid-term business plan and with Hindustan Motors is studying to bring a new product to India during the period of FY2014 – FY2016. The product could be the next generation Outlander which the company discontinued in India last year along with the Lancer Evo X and Cedia.
The Pajero brand has always had a cult following in the country for its off-road capabilities, however, the dismal sales and service network from HM-Mitsubishi does not do much to induce confidence in its products. The new strategy of the company would be to renew brand Mitsubishi in the country with the help of HM and improve the financial conditions and profitability. The core focus would be on SUVs and will remain a crucial part of the company’s growth in the New Stage 2016 business plan.
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport AT when launched is expected to be priced around Rs. 25 lakhs (ex-showroom) in the country. The SUV will be primarily competing with the segment leader, the Toyota Fortuner which provides a potent powertrain mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox (also a 5-speed manual) and comes with Toyota backing of an array of dealerships and after-sales and service network.