Mitsubishi Pajero product planners should learn from the Jimny, say Japanese media
3 September 2018 - IndianAutosBlog
The Mitsubishi Pajero (Mitsubishi Montero) is struggling to woo customers in Japan, or for that matter even in the global market place.
Looking at its dwindling sales while the 2018 Suzuki Jimny gets back ordered for over a year, Japanese press suggests Mitsubishi need to learn a thing or two from the pint-sized off-roader.
Suzuki launched the 2018 Jimny in early July with an annual sales target of 16,200 units (standard and Sierra versions combined). By now, it has already received orders for this year's worth, and deliveries will take more than a year to complete. The Mitsubishi Pajero, on the other hand, is unable to clock even triple-digit figures. Last month, only 43 units left showrooms nationwide.
In Mitsubishi's defence, the Pajero costs more than double that of the Suzuki Jimny. Unlike Suzuki's model, it falls into a class that attracts a limited set of customers. Also, it's not a lone ranger in the segment, with customers having an option to go for the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Above all, Mitsubishi's model (in its current generation) turns 12 next month.
BestCarWeb Japan writes (translated) -
As with the new Jimny, the means to recover popularity is to return to the idea of the original model. The first Pajero's three door (variant) had increased popularity due to the simple and functional nature, similar to the new Jimny.
Looking back, Pajero has changed its concept to be ambiguous with each generation. In the beginning, a lot of people expressed the desire to enjoy the fun and coolness of the 4WD, but the desire to gradually show it as a higher-class vehicle intensified, leading it to become bloated.
What is required of Pajero in the future is also to regain a sense of practical use for professionals. Pajero 's product planning staff should study firmly why the new Jimny gained popularity.
The primitive Mitsubishi Montero is in a dying need of a full model change. In 2015, reports had said that Mitsubishi cancelled plans to renew the off-roader, but as per articles in 2017, a lifecycle makeover was still on the table. With Mitsubishi now a Renault-Nissan Alliance partner, the hope stronger than before. Among speculations is that the fifth-gen model may share its platform with the seventh-gen Nissan Patrol full-size SUV.
Stricter emission norms have made the business case tough for heavy-duty 4x4s like the Mitsubishi Pajero. The increasingly fierce competition from luxury automakers is another deterring factor. Should an all-new model see the light of day, expect it to come with a plug-in hybrid powertrain with rear axle-mounted electric motors (instead of a mechanical 4x4 system).