Mitsubishi has confirmed its departure from the Chinese market following a sharp decline in vehicle sales and inability to compete with local electric carmakers.
The Japanese carmaker has yet to go all in on its transition to becoming a fully electric brand, instead continuing to focus on plug-in hybrids like the Outlander.
This decision no doubt led to the diamond brand’s demise in China, after offering its fully electric Airtrek model too late in the game and at too high of a price.
However, Mitsubishi was once a popular brand there, selling approximately 134,500 vehicles in 2019 alone. It only began to hit trouble in 2020 when sales plummeted, no doubt influenced by supply chain shortages due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The final nail in the coffin was hammered in after the company only sold around 34,500 units in 2022, following the market’s rapid shift to EVs.
It isn’t the only Japanese carmaker facing hardship in China either, as Honda, Mazda, and Nissan have experienced a drop in sales over the past few years too. Even Toyota saw the sales of its vehicles decline for the first time in 10 years, reports Elektrek.
There may be a chance in the future for Mitsubishi to re-enter the market once it fulfils its plan to release nine new EVs over the next five years, including an electric ute.
However, Mitsubishi says most of its effort will be put into growth markets like South East Asia and Oceania which is good news for New Zealand at the end of the day.