In addition to Mazda, another carmaker whose absence we deeply miss in Pakistan is Mitsubishi. With the Lancer, Galant, and Pajero models, the Japanese automaker was one of the most well-liked options in the 1980s and enjoyed some good success in the early 1990s as well. However, due to import restrictions imposed to aid the local auto industry in getting off the ground, Mitsubishi cars from Pakistan faded into history.
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Mitsubishi cars made a comeback during the Musharraf regime when Dewan Mushtaq Motor Company (DMMC) introduced Mitsubishi cars as CBU-imported units that were sold between 2004 and 2009, but after the Musharraf era, the Dollar took a flight in the north resulting in a massive increase in prices of locally assembled as well as imported cars which saw the ultimate end to CBU options including Mitsubishi, putting another end to the presence of these wonderful cars in Pakistan.
Since then, Mitsubishi automobiles have been seen here in the form of secondhand JDM imports, the majority of which being 660cc kei cars. Mitsubishi has become a shell of itself after its acquisition by Nissan, and the exciting choice of cars has been abandoned. But Mitsubishi still survives in some markets, including the ASEAN region where the carmaker sells a good number of MPVs and SUVs. Although not among the table toppers, Mitsubishi can still be considered a decent sales performer in these markets.
The X-Force SUV is Mitsubishi’s latest offering in the region that debuted in Indonesia in October 2023 and has since been introduced in Vietnam. The automaker is now on the verge of introducing the X-Force in Malaysia where camouflaged test mules are doing rounds of tests. Within a short span of time, the X-force has already won the “Good Design Award 2023” from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, and the Gold Award under the “Best Transportation Design” category from VMARK Vietnam Design Award 2023.
It is seen as a rival of the likes of the Honda HR-V and Toyota Corolla Cross measuring 4,390 mm long, 1,810 mm wide, and 1,660 mm tall, with a 2,650 mm wheelbase. Not only that the exterior design is impressive, but it also comes loaded with rich features & equipment including LED headlights with DRLs, an 8-inch instrument cluster, and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offered as standard, LED interior mood lighting, and 8 speakers Yamaha sound system.
In terms of safety, the Mitsubishi X-Force gets 6 airbags, ABS with EBD & BA, VSC & TCS, and a suite of driver assistance systems, such as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. It also features an off-roader-style multimeter display and multiple drive modes, along with a brake-activated version of Mitsubishi’s patented Active Yaw Control (AYC). Under the hood, the X-Force gets a 1.5L naturally-aspirated MIVEC four-cylinder engine that generates 105 hp of power and 141 Nm of torque with power sent to the front wheels via CVT.
As part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, the group that can bring Mitsubishi to Pakistan is Ghandhara, since they are decade-old partners of Nissan in our country. But their track record hasn’t been great considering the downfall of Nissan, then Datsun, and then Chery in Pakistan. The likes of Mitsubishi X-Force if introduced can be a worthy addition to the SUV offerings in our market, and if priced competitively has all the potential to become successful thanks to its striking appearance and decent equipment & safety features on offer.
However, it is extremely unlikely to foresee any new automobile launches in Pakistan given the continuous challenges confronting the local auto industry. Even so, fantasizing about cars like Mazda, Subaru, or Mitsubishi is always worthwhile. What is your opinion regarding the thought of a Mitsubishi comeback in Pakistan, let us know with your comments.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com