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Blunder Buses: Mitsubishi Colt Cabriolet

3 weeks ago

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Richard Bremner | Journalist


4 July 2024

So, you’re the incoming CEO and president of a Japanese car company’s European empire, and weeks before you’ve even walked through the door of HQ you’re trying to kill a project. An allegedly low-cost project whose backers say it will boost the sales of one of your most important models.

Except that Tim Tozer, who became Mitsubishi’s European boss in the autumn of 2004, reckoned that the logic behind this plan – namely to make a coupé-convertible version of the Dutch-built Mitsubishi Colt hatchback – was flawed. And that was before he had even seen it.

Said logic was that the arrival of a glamorous, Pininfarina-designed convertible version of the unexciting Colt hatchback would tempt more buyers to whip out their credit cards for a supermini supposedly burnished with the aura of carefree summer days and some Italian Dolce Vita. So-called halo cars do occasionally add desirability to a model, although they’re best announced at the beginning of a car’s life if they’re to fire sparkle across the rest of the range. If you’re old enough, think Talbot Samba (for a few seconds only, I promise) and the late-coming Samba Cabriolet. Talbot sold quite a few of these fabric-roofed drop-tops, but it didn’t do much for sales of the tawdry base product.

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