Mitsubishi Motors will be strengthening its position in the high growth sports utility vehicle market by launching the all-new Outlander in early 2008.
Targeting the semi-premium SUV segment, the all-wheel-drive, off-roader Outlander would be priced between the Pajero and Montero. The existing SUV Pajero comes at a price of Rs 18.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and Montero Rs 31.48 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The vehicle will debut in complete built unit form from Mitsubishi Motor's Japanese manufacturing facility and will be marketed by its Indian joint venture partner, Hindustan Motors.
A senior executive of Hindustan Motors told Business Standard, "The single variant model might be priced in the Rs 20-23 lakh band and would be pitted against the Honda CRV, Maruti Grand Vitara, Toyota Prado and Nissan X-trail. We are planning to have a strong grip in the off-roader segment."
The company is aiming at a bigger share of the SUV market, which has doubled to 20 per cent of the total passenger vehicle segment in the past decade.
Though it could not compete in the SUV market on the volume front where the market leader, Scorpio of Mahindra and Mahindra, sells over 3,000 units per month and Tata Motors' Safari sells 1,000 each month (both are priced one-third of the Mitsubishi range), the company is targeting higher income customers.
The company will also expand the current line-up of single variant, Montero. "To prop up the sales of Montero, which sells 30 units per month, we are planning to bring the new 2007 variant this year. There is a good market as more than 800 premium SUVs are sold each month and we would further tap it with the new Montero expected to be priced around Rs 34 lakh (Rs 3.4 million)." the senior executive added.Mitsubishi sells around 15,000 units per annum of its sedan Lancer, Cedia, and SUV Pajero and Montero models. Through the increase in the product line, it wants to utilise its installed manufacturing capacity of 33,000 units at the Chennai plant. The company will have half a dozen SUV models after the launch of Montero and Outlander in India.