After recently confirming the release of three plug-in hybrids, Mitsubishi is hinting about other models that may be on the horizon.
In an interview at the New York Auto Show with AutoGuide, Mitsubishi Motors North America Executive Vice President Don Swearingen talked more about what areas may offer the best growth for the carmaker.
One segment that offers solid potential is the crossover market.
“Clearly it’s the growing market,” said Swearingen.
“We are studying a bigger crossover. We haven’t made a decision if we’ll bring it to the U.S., but those studies will be concluded in the next six months.”
According to the vice president, consumers can expect to see more hybrids from Mitsubishi as well.
“Our focus is more plug-in hybrids moving forward,” Swearingen said.
Overseas, Mitsubishi has been successful in combining the hybrid and SUV categories. The plug-in version of the Outlander has become the most popular hybrid in the U.K., outselling all other models of PHEVs and EVs.
The Outlander PHEV is set to arrive in the U.S. next spring, and will debut with the same updated styling and improved handling as the redesigned Outlander (pictured above).
At a later date Mitsubishi will also be releasing a plug-in Outlander Sport, which is a compact variation of the crossover. In the U.S., this smaller version has been more successful than the full-sized Outlander. For every Outlander sold in 2014, three Outlander Sport sales were posted.
Because Mitsubishi ranks as one of the smaller companies in the SUV market – hovering at the back of the pack with under 78,000 units sold last year – Swearingen says it has to take extra care when considering each potential model.
But the brand is making steady gains, posting double-digit growth over the past five consecutive quarters. If Mitsubishi can release its Outlander PHEV and Outlander Sport PHEV to the U.S. soon, it will have two standouts in the hybrid crossover market with little competition, which could boost the company’s growth curve even higher.