Two years in the UK and Outlander PHEV dominates sales charts

Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV is celebrating its second anniversary on sale in Britain and, in its time, has become an outstanding sales success. Launched on this day (5th April) in 2014, the Mitsubishi has gone on to sell more than 20,000 units.

The Outlander PHEV can be credited with kick-starting the plug-in hybrid market in the UK and has rapidly become the best selling plug-in car in the country. Just under 1,000 PHEVs were on the roads before Mitsubishi brought along its model, while now there are 21,053 Outlander PHEVs alone.

The latest set of registration figures from the Department of Transport goes up to the end of Q3 2015 show that more than 50 per cent of plug-in vehicles sold are PHEVs, and that 60 per cent of those sales went to Mitsubishi. It must be said that the figures are now running six months behind and show the Outlander PHEV as having sold 14,000 units - only two thirds of Mitsubishi's latest registration figures.

The Outlander PHEV has been helped by the UK Government's Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) but even though the incentive for PHEVs has been reduced, the Mitsubishi still proves excellent value for money. Part of this success is that it stands in a class of its own currently, larger than just about every PHEV on the market, while significantly under cutting executive models from the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Volvo.

Only when compared to the VW Golf GTE or Audi A3 e-tron does the price begin to look steep, though the two VW Group models are very different cars to the Mitsubishi.

Much of the credit for the Outlander PHEV's success must go to Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, Lance Bradley. He decided to sell the PHEV Outlander at the same level as the diesel powered model, and has been vindicated by the sales figures that far outstripped all expectations - taking a sizeable market share and building a platform for more plug-in Mitsubishi's in the future.

Last autumn, less than two years after going on sale in the UK, the Outlander range - including the PHEV model - had a comprehensive overhaul. The styling, suspension and interior were all improved upon, as well as the most important element - the powertrain.

With official economy figures of 156 MPG and 42 g/km CO2, the Outlander PHEV will continue to appeal to buyers, despite the PiCG reduction from £5,000 to £2,500.

Lance Bradley said: "Introducing new technology is very challenging and to sell over 21,000 Outlander PHEVs in the first two years has been an incredible achievement.

"People are being increasingly attracted to environmental vehicle performance and the economy it delivers. However they still want to have a car that is great to drive and doesn't cost significantly more than an equivalent traditional petrol or diesel powered car."

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:5th Apr 2016

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