In the search for a replacement for its ageing ASX, Mitsubishi is considering model sharing
with ally Renault
With a lifecycle well into its 13th year, the ASX is certainly no spring chicken and Mitsubishi is considering how to breathe new life into its ageing small SUV offering, including introducing a badge-engineered version of the Renault Captur for Australia.
Mitsubishi has recently released a new ASX for the European market, marking a new chapter in the union between Renault and Mitsubishi with the Captur and ASX now mechanically largely identical, and the Japanese manufacturer says it could do the same for Australia.
When asked if customers would accept a rebadged Renault as the second-generation ASX, Mitsubishi product strategy executive officer Koichi Namiki responded “I think so – if the product itself is a good one,” he said.
“So far we’ve only studied the sales of Captur in Europe and the customers and dealer’s perception is very good.”
Just when the new ASX might arrive in Australia is anyone’s guess at this stage with yet another ASX variant and one more ‘mid-life’ refresh confirmed in the current generation late in 2022.
However, at least Mitsubishi is finally acknowledging the old but albeit still popular GA model is finally nearing the end of its days, which launched way back in 2010.
Another possible ASX replacement could include the production version of the XFC concept revealed in October 2022, which could introduce an attractive crossover successor to the ASX.
Initially, Namiki said a production version of the XFC “is not a direct successor of ASX” but confirmed there were other nearby markets into which the model could expand.
“Basically this is for the ASEAN region in our minds but of course, if it’s possible we like to expand the market. Probably not for a market like Japan.”
Despite a slow start in Australia, the Eclipse Cross continues to form an important share of Mitsubishi sales and the company says a replacement could also form part of the strategy to retire the ASX in its current form.
Namiki explained that the company was not looking to greatly expand the product portfolio in the near future but a reshuffle of the line-up could be used to introduce a new ASX or Eclipse Cross offering without leaving gaps in its family.
“The SUV is the most important vehicle type for Mitsubishi an especially the crossover type. We’re not trying to expand the vehicle range to sedan or hatchback or sporty cars. We’re concentrating on SUV only.
“Eclipse Cross is based on a very old platform unfortunately so we definitely need to renew at some point in time. Based upon the line-up at that point we could utilise the same name or maybe come up with a different name.
“Basically we are not assuming there will be a gap in the product (line-up). But every product cannot last forever.
One final option for the Japanese brand is to introduce the Xpander small MPV which would fill a gap at the small end of the spectrum with a model that sacrifices some SUV appeal in return for a boosted practical proposition.
Mitsubishi global marketing and sales executive officer John Signoriello wouldn’t go as far to say the company was considering the model for Australian introduction, but highlighted how successful the Xpander had been in virtually every model it now competes.
“Every market we’ve gone into with the Xpander where there’s been nothing like it, it’s been an absolute hit,” he said. “It’s done really well. I’m not saying we’re considering it for Australia.
“We could see 50 a month. Is there a market for it there? I’m not sure”.
Car news today: Infiniti QX80 previews future Patrol look, Renault in talks to build EVs with Volkswagen, and more – 29 February 2024
Car news today: Apple kills electric car project, MG4 could gain a wagon variant, and more – 28 February 2024
Car news, 27 Feb ’24: Toyota Australia announces pricing for electric BZ4X, Renault debuts retro 5 E-Tech, and more
About Chasing cars
Chasing Cars reviews are 100% independent.
Because we are powered by Budget Direct Insurance, we don’t receive advertising or sales revenue from car manufacturers.
We’re truly independent – giving you Australia’s best car reviews.