Automobile industry, one of the pillars of the Indian economy, has welcomed plenty of brands from across the world. Then, some were not able to get their share in the gold mine. One such brand is the Japenese automotive manufacturer, Mitsubishi.
1998 – The company comes to our shores
Hindustan Motors and Mitsubishi collaboration in 1998 marked the entry of the company in India. HM was responsible for manufacturing or assembling the cars from Mitsubishi in India. Since then the company has launched a few of the following cars in our country.
Mitsubishi Lancer | That Ought To Shut ‘Em Up
The luxury compact sedan, a famous one in Japan was also launched in India in 1998. The car really did well in India, in fact, the only model from the company that did well. The sedan was equipped with a 1.5-litre petrol engine which produced 85hp of power and a peak torque of 132Nm. It also had a diesel engine option. It was a 2.0-litre engine that produced a mere 68hp of power and 122Nm of torque. The sedan had an air conditioner, power steering, power windows, adjustable steering, power-adjustable rear-view mirrors and many features that were considered a luxury at that time. Lancer was sold in India until 2012 when the company decided to tick it off the selling plan.
Mitsubishi Cedia | A Power-packed Sedan
The sedan came powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine which was able to produce 114hp of power and a peak torque of 175Nm. It was also equipped with safety features such as airbags, ABS with EBD and engine immobiliser. For the driver’s enhancements, it had power steering, height-adjustable driver seat, multi-information display, steering-reach adjustment and much more. It had climate control, leather seats, power windows, central locking, remote locking, CD player and the list continues. Sometimes being perfect makes you less chosen. The Indian market was not open to the sedans a lot when Cedia was launched. This is what led to the low sales of the luxury and powerful sedan. It was discontinued in 2013.
Mitsubishi Pajero | Heard in songs more than on roads
One of the only two cars in Mitsubishi’s portfolio that are left in India is Pajero. The latest version of Pajero which is sold in the country is or should I say was Pajero Sport. It is not BS6 compliant yet but the company has revealed the BS6 compliant one which will be selling in India soon. The major reason for the failure of the SUV is the route it was brought through. No, I am not saying the literal route. I was talking about the CBU route. This added to the prices of the SUV and the losses of the company.
Mitsubishi Outlander | The Legend In A New Avatar
This is the second of the only two models that were currently available before the lockdown. The previous Outlander was discontinued in 2013 and was launched in a new avatar in 2018. It was also brought through the CBU route and was surely expensive than the rivals in India. Thus the SUV was not at all welcomed in the market.
Well, it is clear from the above that why did the company fail at our shores. It is astonishing to see Mitsubishi still managing to stay active in India even though the graph has been tilted towards the negative side from a long time. Let’s jot down a few of the reasons for the failure.
Presence is a MUST
The company was totally dependent on HM for production and running the network in India. It was never directly involved in the working of the brand. This too much dependency led to the regrowth, especially after HM closed its operations.
The companies should only choose the CBU route after a total evaluation of the market. As the prices are way beyond the rivals, it is a rare sight to see CBU units do any good in India. Even Maruti Suzuki failed when Kizashi and Grand Vitara were brought to India via this method.
Japanese Transport Department investigated the case of the company’s false fuel mileage claims. Mitsubishi was found guilty and the share prices plummeted to low ends. Financial instability made the situation worse for the company.
Now the company’s 34% of shares have been bought by Nissan which has led to the Nissan Renault Mitsubishi collaboration. Thus it can be expected that Mitsubishi might make a comeback in India and that too after learning from the previous mistakes. While we have your attention, it is important to learn a few things from this story of a failure. Nature has started to revive again amidst the lockdown. It is our duty to make sure that nature stays the same even after the lockdown is over. Rest assured you’ll always have something interesting to read. Stay tuned!