Mitsubishi promises Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV will finally come to America in 2016

Mitsubishi has a bad case of indecision when it comes to the US market. It has enjoyed strong success with its plug-in hybrid Outlander in the UK and Europe, but kept it out of the American market for years while it dithered over the shape of the grille or the design of the tail lights. It has tried to sell sedans here in the past but met with only a tepid response from US buyers.

Now its CEO, Osamu Masuko, says, “We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the U.S. market. We have changed direction. We are going to allocate more resources to the areas where we are strong in the U.S.” The first result of that decision is that the plug-in Outlander will finally go on sale in the US in the middle of 2016, perhaps as early as May.

Mitsubishi says it will introduce a new small crossover in late 2017 that will slot between the midsize Outlander and the compact Outlander Sport. A redesigned Outlander will arrive sometime after 2017 and the next generation Outlander Sport will arrive around 2019. Masuko says all three will offer plug-in powertrains in addition to conventional gasoline engines.