Mitsubishi has been through a lot over the past year. The fuel economy scandal, taking a $1.4 billion loss (the first loss in eight years), a stock value drop of 37% and then the multi-billion dollar investment by Nissan just to keep the embattled brand above water. Now, Mitsubishi has announced that they're going to end production of the Lancer sedan in the summer of 2017, amid falling sales and a refocusing on crossovers.
It's too bad, not because the Lancer is particularly good (it's not), but because there are so few small sedans left on the market, and the Lancer could be great with some improvements. LeftLane News reported that executive vice president and COO of Mitsubishi's North American division Don Swearingen stated that the smaller (and less attractive) Mirage G4 will continue to sell and fill the sedan hole that the outgoing Lancer will leave.
We have mixed feelings about the change since the Lancer has been lackluster for a long time (it's been here in the States since way back in 2001, replacing the Mirage. But the fact that crossovers are on the rise is an indication that small, practical sedans have become less desirable and ultimately less profitable for manufacturers. The fact that the Lancer Evolution performance sedan was killed at the end of 2015 due to poor sales shows that the company has been refocusing themselves for a little while now.
But all is not lost. You can still purchase the Lancer until August of 2017, but what's even more significant is that you can get your mitts on a 2015 (but still new) Lancer Evolution on the manufacturer website. We'd suggest that if you're going to purchase any Mitsubishi vehicle, that would be the one to get. You'll be the envy of the neighborhood, that's for sure, and it might just become a collector's car several years down the line.