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Mitsubishi micro car on way

The newcomer will be smaller and cheaper than today's Colt

The newcomer will be smaller and cheaper than today's Colt, which opens the action for Mitsubishi in Australia from $15,740, and should be ready for the road inside two years.  The codename for the project is 'Global Small' and it's a personal priority for the president of Mitsubishi Motors, Osamu Masuko.

"The key issue facing the industry at the moment is increased demand from new markets - emerging economies - while sales in mature markets remain static. Increased environmental concerns have also become a major issue," Masuko tells Australian journalists.

"These two factors are affecting the way we do business and have seen, globally, a shift from large passenger vehicles to smaller, more efficient and economical cars. In developing countries we believe the sales and importance of these vehicles will rise.  It is believed the growth segment will be small cars."

He believes there is now an opportunity for a smaller car than the Colt, although he rules out anything as basic as the Tata Nano developed to take Indians off their bicycles and into cars.  "The size of the Global Small will be smaller than the Colt and the price will also be cheaper," he says.

Masuko also confirms there will eventually be a plug-in electric version.  "We are also going to launch with an EV, one year later. Of course, it will come to Australia."

Masuko says Mitsubishi plans to grow its global following with a range of vehicles which bring new customers to the brand.  "To to now, Mitsubishi is seen as having its strength in four-wheel drives. What we would like to build on, as a company, is to have vehicles which are sporty and emotional."

He also confirms plans for strategic product alliances with other brands - such as the one Mitsubishi already has with Peugeot - to shortcut development times and boost its production numbers.  "From now on we are still going to be look at a lot of alliances," he says.