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Mitsubishi to unveil new high-mileage Mirage in Japan

Published: August 2, 2012 | 7:16 am
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Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced Aug. 1 that it will introduce its new Mirage compact car nationwide on Aug. 31.

It will be produced in Thailand and introduced to global markets. Mitsubishi plans to sell 30,000 units a year in Japan.

Mitsubishi developed the new Mirage to market as an environmentally friendly vehicle in developed countries and as an entry-level car in emerging economies.

Mitsubishi said the car can travel 27.2 kilometers on a liter of gasoline.

The mileage leader for gasoline-only powered cars, the new Mirage weighs in at only around 870 kilograms, nearly equivalent to that of a minicar.

Mitsubishi is also promoting the Mirage as affordable, with prices ranging between 998,000 yen ($13,000) and 1,288,000 yen.

Mitsubishi revived the Mirage name for the first time in 12 years. The first model was released in 1978.

Mitsubishi plans to export the car from Thailand to Southeast Asia, Europe and elsewhere. It also plans to raise the production capacity of its Mirage-dedicated plant in Thailand to 200,000 units a year by the end of next year.

It is considering producing the Mirage in China as well.

Mitsubishi has been saddled with a cumulative loss of around 700 billion yen because of sluggish sales prompted by a recall scandal.

The company has been unable to pay dividends, including preference dividends to the Mitsubishi group, which bought preferred stock worth 440 billion yen.

Enhanced product appeal will help the struggling automaker restore its finances.

But the market for compact cars is the fiercest in automotive competition. Manufacturers around the world are rolling out new compacts in emerging nations.

In Japan, the Mirage will compete with popular cars such as Toyota Motor Corp.’s Vitz and Honda Motor Co.’s Fit.

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