It’s hard not to laugh when you see the ‘new’ Mitsubishi ASX, which makes very little effort to hide the fact that it’s a Renault Captur. How this trend has declined becomes clear only when we look back at the early relationship the ASX had with French brands. Different products, but on a completely different understanding.
While Mitsubishi does not seem to be completely satisfied with the current state of affairs. The brand refers to the new ASX as an ‘interim solution’, which should keep the ASX hot spot in place until a definitive solution is ready. The extent to which Mitsubishi has lost until recently its good position in the European market is quite surprising. For example, the new Outlander has not yet arrived in Europe and the full range includes, apart from the Renault clone, the Eclipse Cross and Space Star. The only achievement that the Japanese brand can now boast of is that the last car can call itself the cheapest new car in the Netherlands.
The Mitsubishi ASX has never stood in the shadow of the Outlander, which was helped by additional tax rates, in the Netherlands, but it has also found almost 13,000 buyers here over the years. It is not surprising, because Mitsubishi arrived in this segment in time with the ASX in 2010. This is completely different from the French brands, which apparently thought that the whole SUV thing would strike again.
When that turned out not to be the case, a solution had to be found quickly in France. Renault was more or less lucky and managed to get the Koleos from the Korean subsidiary of Renault Samsung Motors, although it was certainly not a huge success.
At PSA, as the partnership between Peugeot and Citroën was still being called at the time, the answer to the SUV question was a little more obvious. To make as little effort as possible – and to have an SUV as fast as possible – they turned to Mitsubishi. The second generation Outlander was therefore also sold as the Citroën C-Crosser and the Peugeot 4007.
In 2012, it was the ASX’s turn for a change in France. At Peugeot the car was changed to Peugeot 4008, Citroën called it Citroën C4 Aircross. It is interesting that these cars were presented at Peugeot and Citroën as successors to models based on the Outlander, while the ASX and Outlander were present side by side at Mitsubishi. Of the ASX clones, only Citroën came to Holland, but the car is also rarely seen in this country.
Well, and then back to the present. Instead of a forerunner that is used as a starting point by European brands, the ASX itself is now a quick job based on a European product. It can change.