31 August 2016

Mitsubishi Sports Car Production By Model : 1997-2014

In the final of the series, we look at sports cars. In this period there are three models to consider and none were produced beyond 2011. It is a class of car that has lost ground over the years. I don't know what the customers bought instead, but perhaps it was just the Sunday drive that has gone out of fashion.

The Eclipse was a compact model produced in 3-door hatchback and 2-door convertible configurations. It lasted a long time, from 1980 to 2011. It was also made for Chrysler, being sold under the brands Plymouth (until 1994) and Eagle (until 1998), the latter I have kept out of the data below.

The Eclipse was aimed at the North American market but also went to the Middle East and a few other markets. It was made in the US and 900,000 came down the assembly line, including those made for Chrysler.

The Eclipse model

The FTO was a Japan only compact 2-door coupé, which was eventually sold in limited numbers in a few right hand drive markets. It's life span was only from the year 1994 to 2000 and 36,500 were made, the majority of those in 1994. I think more should have been done with this model.

The Mitsubishi GTO or 3000 GT came as either a 2-door coupé or soft top (briefly) and was produced between 1990 and 2000. It was also sold as a Dodge but that ended in 1995. It was a touring sports car, built in Japan. Somewhere in the region of 80,000 were possibly made (excluding Dodge).

Summary: Sports cars are not about making money but to provide a halo model for the brand. It gives a positive sporty image that helps sales for other models, although difficult to quantify how beneficial in that regard. Despite any benefit these cars offered, Mitsubishi reached a point it had to vacate this segment due to financial constraints.

In the chart below, the extreme right column shows the percentage of total Mitsubishi car and LCV sales.


Yr Eclipse FTO GTO Total %



3000GT


97 66,000 1,960 5,496 73,456 5

98 50,966 1,033 2,207 54,206 4

99 54,340 616 2,355 57,311 4

00 77,795 160 114 78,069 6

01 70,565 - - 70,565 6

02 75,323 - - 75,323 6

03 25,974 - - 25,974 2

04 10,433 - - 10,433 1

05 37,399 - - 37,399 3

06 39,602 - - 39,602 3

07 24,333 - - 24,333 2

08 13,814 - - 13,814 1

09 2,278 - - 2,278 0

10 7,173 - - 7,173 1

11 4,956 - - 4,956 0

12 - - - 0 -

13 - - - 0 -

14 - - - 0 -

Data source: Mitsubishi Motors.

Links to the other articles in the series: Regular, Kei, SUV, MPV, LCV and Regional.

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