Gasgoo.com - Mitsubishi and South East Motors, also known as Soueast, are supposedly preparing to conduct R&D work on the next generation Lancer EX, the National Business Daily reported today.
Previously, Mitsubishi had announced that it would halt R&D work on sedans. This put MitsubishiĄ¯s Chinese partner Soueast under a lot of pressure. At that time, a representative from the manufacturer stated that it hoped to cooperated with Taiwan-based CMC to build on the work it had already done with Soueast, in order to make even stronger products. CMC and Soueast seem set to take leading parts in R&D work for the new car. While a representative from Soueast owner Fujian Motor stressed that work for the car requires the combined efforts of Soueast, CMC and Mitsubishi, Soueast has yet to make an official statement on the matter.
Analysts believe that it will be difficult for Soueast, with its limited R&D capabilities, to work on a brand new model. However this model is crucial for the success of Soueast Mitsubishi joint venture and even that of the whole of Soueast.
The Lancer EX is Soueast MitsubishiĄ¯s most important model. According to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales of the Soueast Mitsubishi Lancer from January to April of this year totaled 2,100 units, constituting nearly 70% of the JVĄ¯s total sales volume. Sales of other models, such as the Lancer, Galant and Zinger, are very small by comparison.