Mitsubishi could have had the first mover advantage of the economic boom when the Indian automotive market started seeing positive growth but the company remained restrained towards bringing new and capable products to India. Moreover, it still hasn’t established a wide network of dealerships and after sales, a major reason why only a handful of Mitsubishi’s are sold every month literally. However, the Japanese manufacturer wants to change that image and is planning to launch five new models in the Indian market by 2016.
The first product will be the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, a product that was being considered for India since years now (we reported about it being launched in India two years back). The compact hatchback is powered by a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine that can churn out 77 PS and is mated to 5-speed manual and CVT transmissions. The car is equipped with leather seats, fog lamps, keyless entry, automatic climate control, ABS, EBD and dual airbags on the international versions. The Mitsubishi Mirage will be competing with the likes of the Hyundai i10 and Maruti Celerio when launched in the country.
The success of the Mitsubishi Mirage in the Indian market would determine the fate of its sedan twin the Mitsubishi Attrage. The Attrage is essentially a Mirage stuck with a boot. It is also powered by the same engine specifications found on the Mirage but offers more space and comfort. The Attrage would compete in the compact sedan space when launched in the country; but being a tad bit lengthier at 4.2 metres, it would not comply with the excise duty benefits and could be priced higher than competition pushing it in the entry level sedan segment with the Etios sedan and Fiat Linea Classic. It would be interesting to see if Mitsubishi gets a chopped off version to India to comply with the excise duty norms.
Mitsubishi says that it will continue concentrating on the SUV portfolio and will add two new SUVs to the lineup by 2016. We can expect the all new Outlander to make its way back to India, after the SUV was discontinued last year. The company is also working out to get a diesel version of the SUV seeing the demand in the country, but the cost would be too high, since it would be brought in as a CBU. Currently Mitsubishi has announced that the Pajero Sport Automatic will be brought to India in the second half of this year.
It seems Mitsubishi has finally understood the potential the Indian automotive market is capable of. However, it also needs to work on its dealerships and after sales and service network, with spare parts readily available at reasonable costs to have a sustainable run with its products in the country. The cars will initially be imported from the ASEAN markets, and will be assembled at a later stage at the HM facility in Chennai. Would you opt for a Mitsubishi hatchback against a Maruti or Hyundai? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source – Autocar