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Mitsubishi unveils Global Small Car concept

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has unveiled its Global Small Car concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show that will replace the Colt. Designed to be efficient and inexpensive to manufacture, the new Global Small Car will be built in a new 150,000 units-a-year capacity plant in Thailand and will be exported to ASEAN, China, North America, Australasia, Europe and Japan. And it is quite likely that the car could be headed to India as well.

Mitsubishi has developed the Global Small Car concept keeping in mind the changing nature of compact and sub-compact market around the world. Its key driver is economics and efficiency. Measuring 3.74 metres in length, it is nearly as the Suzuki Swift and is 1.68 metres wide to maximise space and interior volume. Mitsubishi claims that the car will have robust underpinnings and have a good combination of ride and handling to suit the individual requirements of many markets.

Powering the Global Small Car will be two petrol motor options – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder MiVEC engine or a 1.2-litre three-cylinder MiVEC. Both engines are designed to deliver under 99 g/km of CO2, making it among the most eco-friendly hatchbacks on sale globally. To achieve that the Japanese company has adopted tech like Start-Stop, brake regenerative energy, a lightweight body shell and so on and so forth.

In India, Mitsubishi which has partnered with Hindustan Motors is a bit player in the overall scheme of things. Globally too, Mitsubishi has not been able to completely recover from its numerous recalls and other issues over the last decade or so. With its portfolio in India comprising largely SUVs and the ageing saloons, it desperately needs a premium small car to shore up its presence and this could be the answer. But the question is whether a 150,000 units-a-year capacity plant (which will be enhanced to 200,000 units-a-year) is enough to meet global demand? Moreover is HM-Mitsubishi India serious enough to pull it off, and if so is it looking to just bring in CKD kits from Thailand and assemble the car here? These are questions we are looking for answers to.