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Mitsubishi Bids Farewell to Galant, Eclipse and Endeavor

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author photo by Autotrader January 2011

Mitsubishi is planning an ambitious rebirth – and it's going to shed some of its most popular models along the way. The Japanese automaker recently announced its impressive Jump 2013 plan, which includes the cancellation of the Galant, Eclipse, and Endeavor as the brand's focus shifts to small, fuel-efficient vehicles.

According to the plan, which also places a focus on developing markets such as China, Mitsubishi expects to offer six new plug-in hybrid or electric models by the end of 2015. The first of which is the diminutive, all-electric i-MiEV city car. The i-MiEV is already sold in many markets globally, and is expected to hit U.S. showrooms sometime this year.

"There will be additional new products announced within the year that we feel will help our dealers appeal to a wider variety of customers," said Shinichi Kurihara, Mitsubishi Motors North America's chief executive, to Automotive News. While Kurihara didn't discuss details on the new models, he mentioned that a plug-in hybrid crossover and another unspecified hybrid were likely within the next three years.

While the rest of Mitsubishi's eco-friendly cars are currently unknown, it's a certainty that the new strategy has no place for the brand's larger models. Expected to be cancelled by the end of 2013, the Galant, Eclipse, and Endeavor – which currently account for more than a third of Mitsubishi's sales – are the only vehicles it produces in the United States. The announcement has led some to question whether Mitsubishi's Normal, Illinois, factory – which manufactures all three models – will remain operational, despite assurances from the automaker that it will.

Although Mitsubishi has struggled in the U.S. market, the automaker has seen a recent bright spot with the introduction of its new Outlander Sport small SUV, which helped pull December 2010 sales up nearly 20 percent versus December 2009. Mitsubishi has also seen strong sales from its compact Lancer, which the automaker says will survive its ambitious new strategy – high-performance Evolution model included.

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Used 2011 Mitsubishi Galant SE
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Mitsubishi Bids Farewell to Galant, Eclipse and Endeavor - Autotrader