Automotive News reports that the slow selling Mitsubishi Raider pick-up is being cut from the automaker’s North American offerings. Speaking as a former member of the International Motoring Press Association (that means I was an accredited automotive journalist), who has full access to Mitsubishi’s media site, and is a regular contributor to The Garage, I am making the following confession: I never knew that Mitsubishi was even selling this product.Ã‚Â
To make matters worse, I drive past a Mitsubishi dealership four times a day, every day, all year, and I have never seen a Raider pick-up.Ã‚Â
Ok-now that I have come clean, the once unknown-to-me Raider is essentially a rebadged Dodge Dakota, which has been on the market since 2005. You are also forgiven if you’ve never heard of this truck, as Mitsubishi sold only 3,000 in the US in 2008.
The death of the Raider also signals an end to a relationship between Chrysler and Mitsubishi that dates to the 1970’s. Dodge sold re-badged Mitsubishi’s well into the 1990’s, running the gamut from the primitive Colt to the technological tour de force Stealth R/T. Several models sold under the defunct Eagle brand were also built by Mitsubishi.
Small volume truck, for a smaller volume manufacturer, true. But don’t weep for the Raider, folks. This is a good sign. Mitsubishi had the sense to ask:
1. How much money do we spend to restyle the front and rear of a Dodge Dakota?
2. Make minor detail changes to the interior?
3. Spend money to stock our dealer’s with the parts to perform routine service?
Obviously, too much for a truck that sold 3,000 units last year. Lights out, Raider.