Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is considering setting the price of its new fuel-efficient compact car at around ¥800,000, well under the roughly ¥1 million for the lowest-priced cars now available on the market, sources said.
The automaker is planning to build the car, which is set for release next year, at low-cost plants in Thailand and China and to supply it to carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, which is looking to forge capital ties with Mitsubishi Motors, for sale under the French automaker’s nameplate, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Nissan Motor Co. is expected to start making low-priced compact cars in Thailand for sale globally, including Japan, starting in March or later. That could accelerate moves by others to turn out low-priced compact cars overseas and import them into Japan.
Mitsubishi Motors plans to position its new car as its mainstay product in overseas markets as well as in Japan. The car is expected to have a smaller engine displacement than Mitsubishi’s Colt compact, which has a 1.0-liter engine.
The automaker plans to release the car as an all-electric model by 2012 and as a plug-in hybrid by 2013, the sources said.
The new Mitsubishi model will be about 20 percent to 30 percent cheaper than Suzuki Motor Corp.’s top-selling WagonR minicar and Honda Motor Co.’s top-selling Fit compact car.
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