NOTE: The Triton Club Cab is now available in Australia. For details, click here.
Speaking to TMR, Mitsubishi Australia’s Head of Corporate Communications, Lenore Fletcher, confirmed Mitsubishi is planning a “fourth quarter” release for the Club Cab.
The Club Cab, two-doors only, will provide a secure and useable behind-the-seats stowage area for a bit more flexibility and interior space.
While designed to compete against Nissan’s Navara King Cab, Mazda Bt-50 Freestyle and Ford’s SuperCab Ranger, Mitsubishi’s Club Cab will not however feature a second set of rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors found on those models.
Instead, accessing the area will be through the front doors, two-door coupe style.
The new ‘Club Cab’ model will fill an important gap in the Triton model line-up. Triton is a global success-story for Mitsubishi. And while there has been some mixed reaction to the styling of the MN model’s extended tray since launched late last year, it has found favour with both private buyers and the fleet and business sector.
Also coming for Mitsubishi is a 4X2 version of the Outlander.
Family buyers have been quick to embrace these two-wheel-drive ‘SUV wagons’. They offer the practicality of an SUV, without the added expense, weight and fuel consumption penalties of their otherwise identical 4X4 counterparts.
This part of the medium and compact SUV sector has experienced strong growth in the past two years.
Holden’s inexpensive 4X2 Captiva, in particular, has been going gangbusters and part of the reason the Captiva range now sits at number one (as of June VFACTS sales figures) in the medium SUV sector.
It’s a market that Mitsubishi wants a slice of. It makes the 4X2 Outlander a sensible addition to the line-up.
Another new arrival, expected to land in late August or early September, is a new addition to the Lancer range. While the next generation of the Lancer is not planned for release until 2014/15, the current line-up will be strengthened with the arrival of a mid-spec model, the SX.
Adding even more buyer options to the range, the SX Lancer will sit between the ES and VR in price and configuration.
Mitsubishi’s problem-child, the underperforming Colt, is also soon to get a makeover in the Australian market. With a new global small car on an all-new platform coming in 2013, the local debut of the updated Colt is intended to extend its life until the new model arrives.
While the CVT transmission remains, the gear selector is to move from the column to a conventional floor-shift in the centre-console.
The engine too remains unchanged, but is to be sourced from Japan rather than Europe for Australian market Colts.
The Colt however is likely to remain a bit-player in the light car sector. Produced as an up-market model for the Japanese market, it struggles to compete on price here.
And lastly, if you haven’t seen nor heard much of the people-mover Grandis lately, that’s because it’s being sent to God.
The Grandis is no more, and, while it soldiered on manfully with limited market acceptance, there won’t be a replacement – Mitsubishi is getting out of the shrinking people-mover sector.
So, with an expanding model line-up, with sales of the new ASX beginning August 1 and its all-electric i-MIEV with more willing buyers than it can satisfy, Mitsubishi would seem to be busy plugging niches as soon as they appear.
The only obvious hole is in the medium/large car sectors – precisely what it vacated with the demise of the 380.
It’s London to a brick Mitsubishi will have a new entrant lining up here before too long. Better watch this space.