Mitsubishi brings Triton pickup back to Japan after 12-year gap

TOKYO: Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will bring back its Triton pickup truck to Japan next year after a 12-year hiatus from its home market, targeting customers in rural areas and the boom in outdoor activities like camping.

The new model dual-cab five-seater will cost around ¥5.4 million (RM176,000) when it hits the market in February - more expensive than rival Toyota Motor Corp.’s Hilux pickup, which starts at around ¥4 million (RM131,000) in Japan.

The new Triton is around 5.3 metres long, 1.9 metres wide and 1.8 metres high and powered by a 2.4 litre turbo-diesel engine.

Unveiled in Thailand earlier this year, the rugged four-wheel drive has seven driving modes, including for snow, mud and rocky trails.

Since launching in 1978, more than 5.6 million Tritons have been sold globally. The pickup is currently available in about 150 countries, with global annual sales of around 200,000 vehicles.

Mitsubishi aims to sell 1,000 to 1,500 units in Japan in the current fiscal year ending in March, chief product specialist Yoshiki Masuda said. "We want to spread this truck category,” he said.

The vehicles will be built in Thailand and imported to Japan, Masuda said.

Triton’s sales were suspended in Japan in 2011 as demand waned, however, Masuda said the situation is different now.

"There is a boom of big cars, and more people into outdoor activities as well,” he said.

Autos Mitsubishi