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Happy Holidays and end of the Mitsubishi world?

 

We seemed to get thru the real Mayan end of the world just fine.  But again many out there tend to think that Mitsubishi may fall on it’s sword in the new year.  Many posted this video link on the internet which caused a bit of stir lately.  http://finance.yahoo.com/topics/financially-fit/finfit-6-brands-likely-disappear-150000624.html Is this true?  The short answer is…. No.  While yes Mitsubishi is suffering a huge cash crunch as they restart the franchise, and yes their marketing for the past 4 years has been less than stellar.   Mostly because of 3 big factors,  just bad timing, bad luck, and strategic partners that just wasn’t in it to win it.

 

The marketing and selection of cars in 2007 required a bit more of a broader line up.  The Mitsubishi Lancer was launched successful but because Mitsubishi cut of the cars that made its self great without offering greener options.  This hurt Mitsubishi big time.  The EVO, Lancer, and Outlander became its only winners.  Most of Mitsubishi sales have been because of these 3 variants.  Eclipse didn’t really go anyway.  The number one thing that Mitsubishi missed out on was the Mitsubishi Colt which met all of the objectives for what Mitsubishi wanted.  I have been told that at the time Mitsubishi felt the success of the colt would be marginal.  To be honest, if it was me, I think it would have been the gamble that could have changed the tide of the war.  The green push in my opinion is a good thing, but it was too radical and too quick of a timetable.   Mitsubishi released some ads that completely offended their customer base vs. converted their customer base to greener pastures.

Bad luck?  Yes the Earthquake really hit Mitsubishi and it’s semi sister company Nissan very hard.  A lot of production was tide together in Japan, and the earthquake caused massive delays.

 

One of things that really huge Mitsubishi was the world engine alliance.  The birth of the 4B11 engine was both a great thing for the world but a bad bet/ investment for Mitsubishi.  Sharing technology with Hyundai and Dodge was something that definitely benefited the two others.  Hyundai used the technology in their Hyundai Genesis and made a better product as a result.  Albeit an engine with cast internals, they still understood well enough.  Dodge on the other hand. Took the technology and ran.  Buying out Mitsubishi and Hyundai’s share and making a new partnership with Fiat.  In other words, those wonderful people at Dodge ended their alliance with Mitsubishi again…. and bolted.  They executed the plan of smaller cars by themselves leaving Mitsubishi high and dry.

After all these kicks to the nuts.  Mitsubishi keeps on moving.  If Mitsubishi was not balls in to win this, they would not be signing production agreements for North America.  Mitsubishi Japan has an extensive financial arm that keeps pumping money into this fight.  But to be completely open here. Unless Mitsubishi A) brings in sport options to all of its cars.  (cough cough Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart)  B) Reactivates the Ralliart Japan program… I feel Mitsubishi’s days are numbered.

I am still hopeful that new management will see the light and make the franchise successful in 2013/2014 which they release new cars.

 

 

 

 

AEM Releases an EVO X Strut bar (2008-2013)

AEM Releases an EVO X Strut bar (2008-2013)

Just in time for the holiday season AEM releases a strut bar for the EVO 10.  Check out out the installed pictures below.

 

Mitsubishi August 2012 car sales and the look forward.

Mitsubishi August 2012 car sales and the look forward.

Mitsubishi’s Sales numbers are feeling like a “Hurt Locker”.

Brand/Company Vol. % Aug. 2012 Aug. 2011 DSR* % Aug. 2012 Aug. 2011
Mitsubishi -38.95 4,249 6,960 -41.21 157.37 267.69

Source: Autoblog by the numbers: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/09/04/august-2012-big-jumps-edition/

The rapid decline was worse than expected by most inside and outside of Mitsu.  While part of the problem is a lack of a full line up.  The bigger problem is that the identity and image of Mitsubishi has shifted around from a EVO X powerhouse with Rally roots to a Eco-centric to rapidly reduce Mitsubishi’s carbon foot print on the world.  The vision is very noble.  but its hard to convince your local fans that this is the path to take especially since the only thing they have seen is an I-Miev.  Something that is …..

*not very attractive
*doesnt offer much in the way of amenities
*and sacrifices everything to be ECO GREEN!

For some… this may be the car they are looking for.  There is a market for it.  But maybe the North American market isn’t ready for it. “YET”.  I feel that time is close at hand.  With economic conditions in the US getting worse with huge national debt and a hurting jobs situation.  Very soon penny pinching on fuel and cutting back on costs will be the new trend.  Maybe… maybe not… the car market is something very hard to predict.

Some may still snicker and laugh about the Mitsubishi electric car.  But I will say this… they have proven that a car like this does work and can survive in the North American market.  And the technology implimented here can be ported over to other cars boosting their efficiency and or power.  An electric assist application for an EVO or the mainstay of the future line up can be a huge bonus.  Especially when it works.   I cant tell you how many horror stories i hear about other electric car system that literally go up in smoke.

When I asked my friend in Mitsubishi Japan about what the strategy is… the short of it was.  The road map of the Mitsubishi car line up wasnt a graceful 4 point or even 3 point turn change over.  But a straight line from point A to B.  This just didnt give anyone including Mitsubishi staff globally time to adjust and understand the new course.  The one thing my contact urged is that the worse is behind us.  Mitsubishi has been hard at work in the R&D labs bringing forward new technologies and new platforms.  Mitsubishi has formally ended most if not all ties to Chrysler/Dodge first with the engine alliance split in 2008 – 2009.  And now moving to platforms that highlight Mitsubishi design without the joint venture kinda stuff they have done for the past 10 years.  One relationship that Mitsubishi will probably still want to keep is the strategic partnership now is Nissan.  The implimentation of the CVT platform is seen as a success for both Mitsubishi and Nissan.  While the market overall still looks at CVT with hesitation.  Both companies have enjoyed very low failure rates and warranty issues.  This and other technologies Mitsubishi would be wise to keep.   Going forward it is possible to see one or two cars jointly developed for the North American market.  But Mitsubishi has not revealed its 5 to 10 year road map for the future.

In the mean time sales numbers for 2012 may lag until the new vehicles are rolled out in 2013 and 2014 production years.  The Mitsubishi Lancer and Evo are both up for redesign or at the very least a face lift.

On a more up beat note.  Developments of the next generation EVO progress.  Its entirely possible that spy pics may be surfacing this fall.  I actually get a chance to travel to meet Mitsubishi Japan officials.  So I will report back with a formal interview.  It’s my hope I can get my hands on juice details :)

Second… it is entirely possible that the EVO X may have a special edition send off that may see enhanced power packages and see the car serialized.  This was something discussed with those close to the EVOSOUL team in Japan.  But again time will tell.  If i hear anything. I will definitely report back.

 

EVOSOUL

The Projects leading up to MOD 2012

The USA Evosoul team has been hard at work prepping project cars and new products for mod.  Our focus this year will be both on the Ralliart and Evo X.  A lot has changed in the past month or so.  Our Evosoul team has been turned into a think tank and we are now at the centre of many new Mitsubishi projects for current and future platforms.

July will be the offical launch of my Evosoul select facebook page and will also start the migration to a new webpage.

I have reviewed over 50 products hands on and will be putting this matrix of info up to benefit those who own a Mitsubishi Lancer, Ralliart, and Evo.

more on that later.

More fun with platidip this past weekend

More fun with platidip this past weekend

I have still been perfecting my skill as a plastidip painter with cans.  And I continue to tighten my game everytime I paint a car.  I finally am close to completing my car and making it perfect.  Since I have gotten pretty good, I started painting a few more friends cars.

Here are a few more teasers.

 

Diamante Successor close at hand?  -Could the Mitsubishi Fuga save the day?

Diamante Successor close at hand? -Could the Mitsubishi Fuga save the day?

Is this the break Mitsubishi has been looking for?  With increase pressure from North America.  Japan may, and I say “may” share the new flagship sedan that is currently in design / prototype with Nissan’s blessing and assistance.  The deal is simple.  Mitsubishi gets the platform of the Infiniti M for which to make its own Luxury sedan with.  Many in the Mitsubishi think-tank I work with on a regular basis believe that its possible that the EVO X could be the last Mitsubishi EVO this Infiniti M / Diamante could be the grown up version of the EVO.  In other words, the Evo could evolve and become more mature.  But mature doesn’t have to mean toned down.  The car could be blessed with EVO technology and bigger power plants and possible a twin turbo setup.  And if you think that wild dream a little over the deep end, image that Mitsubishi integrates a bit of green muscle and allows the car to achieve mileage to likes of 35 to 40 miles per gallon on the highway?

Sound like I am on crack?  If I didnt sit in on long conference calls and prototype proposals, I would say your right.  but I genuinely think Mitsubishi has a few aces up their sleeve.  And considering the fact that the game isnt going so well…. now would be a great time to start laying the cards down.  Or at the very least soon.

For those who are terrified at the idea of the EVO dying in its current form.  Relax, there are prototype discussion going on about an EVO 11.  But with a green foot print some are wondering if it will be accepted by its 10 older brothers.

 

Modified Mag asks the question. Will the next EVO be accepted by the community?

This one has been bouncing around the radar screen for a few months, but things are coming into focus. It’s hard to park the words “Lancer Evolution” and “hybrid” next to each other and keep a straight face, but that’s what’s on the table. With the decidedly lacking performance of the Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid, the big question is, Can a hybrid EVO really squeeze the adrenal glands like the first 10 iterations? Will this car, expected sometime in 2014, be a true EVO hybrid featuring the current 4B11 turbo and some type of electric assist? Will the Diamond Star boys mix in a diesel engine, and what kind of true performance will that combo yield? We hear the EVO’s AWD system will live on, possibly in conjunction with four-wheel steering and an active suspension system, but many of the EVO faithful are asking, When does an EVO cease to be an EVO? We have about 1,100 days until we find out.

Source: http://www.modified.com/news/modp-1203-evo-hybrid-2014/index.html

While there is super speculation going on in the forums and in the cabins of every Lancer Evolution in the world.  What is coming next?   While I do speak to my Mitsu HQ Japan contact often.  There are still two road maps in play.  With a 3rd variant being added only last month.  When I flesh out more details are better fleshed out, I will report back and give a heads up.  But initial reports say that if the project does come to life, its going to make a lot of EVO owners clap.  Not that slow clap.  But actually standing up and clapping with vigor 😉

Time will tell.  Till then, soldier on!

Senseless vandalizing of an EVO :(

Here is a story that is going to just make you shake your head!

Watch the video over with the link below, but be warned…. it will make you shake you head.

http://jalopnik.com/5866176/

Vet gets face broken on Pearl Harbor Day for vandalizing Japanese car

Just when you thought no one was celebrating or remembering the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, there’s this: a Navy veteran spray-painting “12-7 USN” on a Japanese car, like a racist jerk, and then two young men beating the crap out of him on camera, like roid-raging jerks. America!

Let’s start with the original offense, because chronological is the only way to deal with this. Moral? No way. It’s a club sandwich of horrible where the bacon is jingoism, the turkey is violence towards a veteran, and the bread is just good old-fashioned white bread intolerance.

Apparently, inspired by Pearl Harbor, an older man goes too far, spray painting the anniversary of the day that would live in infamy on a Mitsubishi Evo and was caught. He also, according to the victim of the vandalism, shouted racial epithets at them.

Horrible. No doubt.

And then you hear that the guy is a Navy veteran, which is no excuse, and you hear from the guys involved that they broke his nose, leg, and called the cops on him.

Harsh, but, you know, people don’t like to have their cars screwed with.

And then you watch the extremely disturbing video of the aftermath, where the veteran seems to show some contrition and agrees to pay for the damages and doesn’t seem violent at all while the car owner and his buddy parade around calling him “a faggot” and “a bitch” as he bleeds sitting in his car.

I sort of want to believe this video is fake, because only someone who truly hates America would do either of these things, let alone let both happen at the same time.

November Update

November Update

For those who sent emails to me asking what was up and if I was still alive, thanks.  I apologize for the lack news within the last two weeks.  My schedule was packed with a lot of important things to do and meetings with important / critical people.  One of the things on the agenda was to meet with contacts from Mitsubishi Japan as well as USA.  While I did verify information I more or less already knew.  More light was shed on the Mitsubishi’s 2014-2015 full bodied product line up as it stands on the blackboard.  Second was to find out what was to come on the EVO front.   While Mitsubishi’s closed circle product development rarely gets feedback from outside sources.  Mitsubishi has admitted that while it is making a transition to more green / earth friendly vehicle technology.  It does want the feedback and support of its most loyal followers.  What I can discloses is that there is not one evo in development,  but two.  Albeit Beta projects.  My contacts promise quite a few pleasant surprises for EVO owners and enthusiasts.  The hardest thing for Mitsubishi to ask for would be for time.  Time to bring to market the best Mitsubishi Evolution the world has ever seen.

And while everyone including myself have had a few bad tasting brushes with Mitsubishi and its messages.  I am incline to believe they actually might be on to something with the discussions I have had.

Subaru WRX will go its own way:  Mitsubishi / Subaru Cold War renews

Subaru WRX will go its own way: Mitsubishi / Subaru Cold War renews

Image source: Motor Trend

Subaru has decided to spin the WRX off on its own.  These changes will be phased in within the next 3 years.  Subaru has dropped the gauntlet first, but some argue is Subaru even paying attention to Mitsubishi.  Some say the Mitsubishi EVO X won in its latest generation battle with the STI… .  While the war has gone on for years.  Does it make sense to keep going?   Your damn right it does..  main reason.  PRIDE!!! and if there is one thing about pride…. Logic isnt required.    Now since the WRX is more on the level of the Mitsubishi Ralliart, will Mitsubishi respond and send its second tier bomber in pursuit?  Inside sources say, “No…. well maybe…. well we have something in development”  No one will comment on the record.  Mitsubishi is at a cross roads.  And are still torn between two road maps for the future of the Mitsubishi EVO Program.  There is a “Very Green camp” and there is the “Kinda Green camp”  With the leaks that have come out saying the EVO X is no more was a bit premature, and the backlash that has come from that has given more weight to the side that wishes to continue the Mitsubishi EVO dynasty.  Japan HQ informants say a final decision of the road map is due for August 1st (it is unlikely any decision will be made public for sometime after that), and this will set the direction of Mitsubishi for the next 5 years.

Time will tell.

For those who care to know more about what Subaru is doing, read the break down over age Motortrend, (http://www.motortrend.com/future/future_vehicles/1107_subaru_wrx_to_go_its_own_way/index.html)