So, after my thoughts from yesterday, I began thinking of what some brands that are sold in the US could use to strengthen themselves.
Three brands come to mind: Scion, Mitsubishi, and Fiat.
First, the Scion brand. They've been struggling lately.
The iQ flopped, the xB and xD need replacement/redesign, and the tC and FR-S aren't cutting it.
There's been talk about what will come in the near future, including a new model that's based on the Toyota Auris, and a second generation FR-S.
Here's the way I see it:
- Auris based model, maybe bringing the xA name back. (my estimated chances of happening: 85%)
- Second gen FR-S (my estimated chances of happening: 90%)
- Third gen xB that returns to being a rebadged Toyota bB instead of Corolla Rumion. (my estimated chances of happening: 65%)
- New smaller model based on the Daihatsu Boon/Toyota Passo to replace the iQ and better compete against the other city cars in the US market (Spark, Mirage, 500, etc.), maybe call it xP, as a nod to the JDM Passo name. (my estimated chances of happening: 30%)
- Third generation tC somewhere between 2015 and 2017, based on the Auris-based model, maybe offering a Lexus CT-like hybrid model. (my estimated chances of happening: 65-70%)
- Finally, a funky looking mini MPV based on the Porte/Spade, including it's unique single sliding door on the driver's side. It would have to be engineered for LHD markets, so it would likely have to wait until the third gen Porte, sometime around 2017-18. (my estimated chances of happening: 25%)
Next, Mitsubishi. They've struggled in recent years, but their sales have been starting to climb within the last year, so it's a great opportunity for new product.
- First, the sort of product that we've been wanting to return, the Montero. There's been talks of bringing the next gen model to the US, possibly with a hybrid powertrain.
If it retains it's famous off-road capability, the hybrid powertrain could be acceptable. (my estimated chances of happening: 65%)
- Update the i-MIEV, inside and out. Upgraded powertrain, better fit and finish interior. Something to hold off until a possible redesign. (my estimated chances of happening: 80%)
- Drop the Mirage from the US market, and replace it with a new subcompact lineup utilizing the Mirage and Delica names: Mirage sedan, Delica 3 and 5 door hatchbacks. (my estimated chances of happening: 50%)
- Completely redesigned Lancer, possibly using a PSA Peugeot Citroen chassis and powertrain, likely sharing with a next-gen C4. (my estimated chances of happening: 50%)
- Lastly, a new small van, could also be developed with PSA, maybe based on a next-gen C3 Picasso or 5008. (my estimated chances of happening: 30%)
Finally, Fiat could use some more models, and with only two on the horizon (a 'specialty' model (likely a small sports car) and the 500X), the possibilities are almost endless.
- Panda. Bring it here, make it AWD only (ala Subaru), and sell it for a couple thousand less than the 500X. Would probably sell well in the Northeastern US. (my estimated chances of happening: 35% for imported, 45% for NA production)
- Strada. There's likely gonna be a completely new Strada in the next couple years. Mexican production would allow them to avoid the 'Chicken Tax', courtesy of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). (my estimated chances of happening: 15% imported, 25% NAFTA production)
- New compact model. The current Punto is relatively outdated for the US market. Maybe a new sedan and hatchback based on the next Dart could be plausible, using the English translation of the Chinese market Fiat version of the Dart's name.
Call it the Fiat Voyage. (my estimated chances of happening: 55%)