Once a status symbol like none other and easily the most popular premium SUV around, the Mitsubishi Pajero has finally reached the end of its career. In fact, it has been a while since Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has been struggling across the globe and in line with this, has had to discontinue several models to march ahead with a single-minded focus on plug-in hybrids. Also, since October 2016, the company has been a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and even Nissan has been going through pretty tough times. It has already cut down many of its international operations to concentrate only on the US, Japanese and Chinese markets.
Even Nissan Europe will be completely shut down, while Nissan Indonesia has axed the Datsun sub-brand due to the poor demand. Also, all Indonesian manufacturing operations of the company will be now performed by a Mitsubishi-owned factory that makes Nissan Livina MPV that is based on the Mitsubishi Xpaner. Even the Indian operations of the company seem to be in doldrums as demand has been weak and even some of the dealers are known to have chosen to snap ties with the carmaker. Even Mitsubishi suffers from a weak portfolio and a very flimsy dealer/service network.
As Mitsubishi struggles to get back on its feet, it has decided to discontinue many of its renowned car brands. Earlier, the company killed the Lancer moniker and now, the Pajero is going to face the axe. The Pajero is also known as the Montero in several markets and both the iterations will be discontinued completely. The SUV was already taken off the shelves in Japan but the carmaker has been producing many units for the export.
As Mitsubishi wishes to solely focus on PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) and EVs for ASEAN markets, the Gifu-based manufacturing facility will be shut down. All the functions of the factory will be shifted to the company’s Okazaki-based plant. The Pajero will no longer remain on sale, while the Pajero Sport, which is, in essence, a rebadged Mitsubishi Challenger, will remain on sale for some time.
It is being said Mitsubishi India has finally joined hands with a new investor being under Hindustan Motor Corporation Limited (HMCL) since its inception in the 90s. While the company enjoyed sufficient success in its heydays due to high popularity of the Lancer and the Pajero, its later products, including the Montero, Pajero Sport, Outlander and Lancer Cedia, pretty much failed to impress buyers. Rumours abound that the new generation Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross could be India-bound but right now, there’s no official word from the company.