The Mitsubishi Pajero is DEAD

Mitsubishi Pajero dead

After forty years of service, Mitsubishi this week confirmed what we’d suspected since last year…that the Pajero would be axed and not replaced.

Following a board meeting this week, Mitsubishi announced it needed to select and concentrate on areas of its business where it could make money. And that means the brand will pull away from Europe and focus on the ASEAN region where it feels it stands the best chance of being profitable.

In news that should come as no surprise to anyone following the fact that in April 2019, Mitsubishi in Japan rolled out a last hurrah special edition Pajero before axing it from the home market, the Pajero is being killed off for the rest of the world in 2021. The factory where it and some other vehicles are produced is being shut down and production of those other vehicles moved to another factory…Pajero production will not be moved.

Look at this as a retreat for the brand if you like. But a necessary one. Mitsubishi has been struggling to make money for some time now and the Covid pandemic hasn’t helped. So, it plans to reduce fixed costs around the world and, in Europe that means freezing the launch of new vehicles.

But, for Australia, we can expect to see Mitsubishi pay a little more attention to our region. Indeed, it sees ASEAN and Oceania as a growth driver for the brand. Indeed, Mitsubishi has confirmed it will plough on with PHEV development, 4×4 development and production and has committed to the launch of a new-generation Triton from 2022. So, maybe it’s not all bad news.

Locally, no-one knows how long stock of the Pajero will last or when the final shipment will lob Down Under. It’s sad news indeed, the Pajero has become a legend in the automotive world thanks to its dominance of Dakar and its ability in the bush. And while we expected an announcement on the Pajero soon, to be fair we’ve been expecting it for the last five years, it seems a little cruel that the announcement slipped in at the same time as the head office in Japan was celebrating the Pajero’s Dakar success. Sigh.

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.