Monday, March 17, 2008, posted by Auto Rider at 10:21 PM

Mitsubishi plans to expand reach with the i-MiEV, set to arrive at dealerships by 2010.

The i-MiEV comes from the Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) clan, a name given to the automaker’s alternative propulsion technologies. Other watchers in the industry predicted that the cute little electric car with the top speed of about 80 mph and a maximum travel of 100 miles will not make it into the real automotive realm. But the Japanese automaker proved them wrong.

Mitsubishi will also expand mid-sized platform cars and will include an SUV based pickup. The automaker also plans to make the i-MiEV global by reaching Europe and North America not just Japan.

The two-seater i-MiEV, which is designed for urban use, is Mitsubishi’s effort to combat global warming issues. The automaker will zero in on smaller and low impact sport utilities as well as core technologies stressing the development of clean diesel engines and the high-efficiency automated manual transmission Twin Clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission), according to the Green Car Congress.

In the Western European market, the Japanese automaker will respond to stringent mileage standards by improving environmental awareness and tightening CO2 emissions. This will be done by introducing environmental technologies and compact vehicles. Additionally, to improve sales in the burgeoning Central European market, the automaker will concentrate on sport utilities.

In North America, Mitsubishi said that it will primarily be working on improving the brand image in the mid- to long term and working with its dealers. What’s more, the concentration for its US-based production facility will be continued efforts at overall cost cuts, including fixed costs, and by intensifying export prospects.

In Brazil, Mitsubishi will endeavor to raise sales by satisfying its lineup of full-range flexible fuel vehicles (FFV). FFV range covers 0-100 percent petrol or bioethanol-compatible vehicles.

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