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Mitsubishi to discontinue the Pajero in 2021 to quell losses

Tuhin Guha  | Published: July 29, 2020, 08:36 AM IST

Mitsubishi Motors Corp, best known in India as makers of the Pajero, has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. A fallout of this will be that the brand, now part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, will be looking at discontinuing the iconic Pajero 4x4 SUV by next year.

The Pajero has already been discontinued in its home market, but the manufacturing facility in Gifu Prefecture town of Sakahogi in Japan had still been making units for export. However, the drop in sales will mean that this facility will be repurposed for other vehicles and eventually decommissioned in a three year period. Aside from the Pajero, this plant produces its MPV derivative, the Delica, and the Outlander SUV.

Even after joining the Alliance, Mitsubishi has been saddled with high costs. The management has set a target of JPY 100 billion in cost cuts. This will be achieved by shuttering plants and moving out of unprofitable markets. This is also in line with the Alliance's new philosophy of its firms focusing on regions and technologies that they are strong in, and developing these for the entire entity. Mitsubishi is also expected to drop the European market, and focus its energies on South-East Asia, where the brand has been more successful.

The Pajero, an off-roading institution, has been in production since 1982 and has spanned four generations. It's been sold in over 70 countries and under various nameplates like Shogun, or as the case was with India, as the Montero. Its also seen some motorsport success, winning the Dakar Rally in only its third attempt in 1985. Over time it evolved from a bare-bones workhorse to a more luxurious proposition, but always kept its rugged body-on-frame character intact. The firm is celebrated this SUV's storied run by launching a Final edition model when the Pajero was discontinued in Japan in 2019. This was limited to 700 units and came with numerous unique touches. Know more about it here.

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