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It could be end of the road for Pajero as Mitsubishi looks to close SUV’s plant

Mitsubishi’s Pajero was last sold in the United States in 2006, badged as a Montero. The rugged SUV is still on sale elsewhere, though even in Mitsubishi’s home market of Japan the Pajero was discontinued in 2019 due to flagging sales.

Sales haven’t exactly been stellar outside Japan either, which isn’t a surprise considering the current model was introduced in 2006. As a result, Mitsubishi is considering dropping the Pajero and closing its plant in Japan within three years, Reuters reported Thursday citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The Pajero’s plant is also responsible for Mitsubishi’s Delica D5 minivan and Outlander crossover SUV. Production of those models will likely be moved to other sites, the sources said.

Mitsubishi’s board is scheduled to meet July 27 to announce a mid-term plan for the automaker, and a decision on the plant may be announced then.

All might not be lost, however. With the closer integration of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance announced in May, there’s a better chance a future Pajero might be developed on a platform shared with the next Nissan Armada. Hopefully that would mean a new Montero for the United States, though we wouldn’t hold our breath.

Mitsubishi has been hinting at a redesigned, fifth-generation Pajero since the reveal of the GC-PHEV plug-in hybrid concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. And in 2015 it launched the smaller Pajero Sport, though unfortunately this model doesn’t comply with U.S. safety standards and thus can’t be sold here as a modern Montero Sport.

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