It looks like time is finally being called on the Mitsubishi Pajero, with the automaker reportedly looking to shut down its Pajero subsidiary in Japan within the next three years. Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that MMC is set to make a decision about the future of Pajero Manufacturing and its factory in Gifu prefecture at a board meeting today (Monday).
In addition to the Pajero, the Gifu factory also produces the Delica D5 mini-van and the Outlander SUV, but both these vehicles will likely be produced at other locations, the sources told the news agency.
That the end would come for the Pajero – also known as the Montero in certain markets – is not a surprise. Last year, the company pulled the plug on domestic sales with a 700-unit Pajero Final Edition run, and while sales continued in other markets, the lack of a successor to the fourth-gen SUV – which has been around since 2006 – has long hinted at the demise of the iconic nameplate.
The Pajero was introduced in 1982 as a three-door, short wheelbase model before a five-door form arrived a year later. The second-generation Pajero arrived in 1991 with the now famous Super Select 4WD system. In 1999, the third-generation Pajero adopted a monocoque body with a built-in ladder frame, achieving both weight reduction and high rigidity, and the model was heavily-revised into the current iteration seven years later.
The automaker had hinted at a fifth-generation Pajero in 2013 through its Concept GC-PHEV, but nothing ever came about following the study’s debut at the Tokyo Motor Show that year. There was talk recently that the company was planning to bring the next-gen Pajero out in 2021 or 2022, but Covid-19 may have scrapped those plans for good, and the decision on whether the nameplate lives on or sails into the sunset should be known very soon.
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